Basic Education Minister issues new directions and protocols as marking of matric scripts is set to commence on Monday, 4 January 2021.
1 Jan 2021
The Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, has issued a new set of directions and protocols as part of the final preparations ahead of the start of the marking of the 2020 matric examinations scripts.
The purpose of these Directions is to provide guidelines to officials, educators and administration staff who are involved in the marking of examination scripts and performing other functions related to the finalisation of the results of the 2020 National Senior Certificate and Senior Certificate examinations, and the release thereof.
Marking will take place in 181 marking centres around the country and more than 45,000 markers have been appointed to complete the marking of the 14 million scripts over an 18 day period. This examination was administered to 1 058 699 candidates, hence the marking exercise is larger than previous exercises of this nature.
The Department has moved swiftly to revise the health and safety protocols to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the marking process. The Department is committed to ensuring that every marking centre adheres to the COVID-19 protocols so that marking centres are safe spaces for markers to carry out this critical function without being anxious about their health and safety.
“The cardinal message from the speech of the President is strict adherence to the basic health and safety protocols. In the marking centres we have increased the number of monitors and we will visit all the centres to monitor compliance. We have made health and safety a priority for all staff in the marking centres,” said Mathanzima Mweli, the Director-General of the Department of Basic Education.
The new regulations follow the President’s announcement on Monday that the country would move to COVID-19 Alert Level 3.
Subject to Regulation 36 of the Regulations published in Government Gazette No. 44044 of 29 December 2020 (the “Regulations”), gathering at the workplace for purposes of work such as the marking of the examination scripts of the 2020 National Senior Certificate and Senior Certificate examinations will be conducted at designated schools or other identified venues as contemplated in the Regulations.
- All officials, markers, senior markers, deputy chief markers, chief markers and internal moderators must:
Wear a face mask;
adhere to health and hygiene protocols issued by the Minister responsible for basic education; and
maintain a distance of at least one and a half metres from each other.
- A school or other identified venue that has a large enough facility may accommodate more than 50 officials, markers, senior markers, deputy chief markers, chief markers, internal moderators and administration staff, but may not exceed 50% of the capacity of that facility, for the purpose of marking and related functions, at that facility for the duration of the marking session, provided that all health, safety and social distancing measures for COVID-19 are complied with.
- Officials, markers, senior markers, deputy chief markers, chief markers, internal moderators and administration staff, involved in the marking process may be accommodated at the school where there are such facilities or at an appropriate venue that complies with all the health, safety and social distancing measures for COVID-19.
- Officials, markers, senior markers, deputy chief markers, chief markers, internal moderators and administration staff, involved in the marking process and other officials involved in the resulting and processing of the National Senior Certificate and Senior Certificate examination must have in their possession a permit which corresponds with Form 7 Annexure A of the Regulations which will be issued by the Head of Department or the person duly authorized by him or her, to allow marking personnel movement during the curfew hours.
- The details relating to the management of the marking process to ensure compliance with the Covid-19 Regulations are contained in the Protocol relating to the Marking of the 2020 National Senior Certificate and Senior Certificate examinations and may be accessed on the following website link: “https://www.education.gov.za/Portals/0/Documents/Recovery%20plan%20page/...”.
There will be strict screening procedures at the entrance of every marking centre and marking personnel that display any symptoms that are listed in the COVID-19 protocol will be retained in a temporary isolation room, until they have been advised by a Health Professional. Markers that have been tested positive must not report to a marking centre and a failure to disclose their health status will constitute a misconduct. The Department has a reserve list of markers to accommodate markers that may not be able to report to the marking centre.
In the marking room, there will be strict adherence to social distancing and markers will be expected to sanitise regularly. During meal and tea times, there would be not more than 50 persons in a particular area and meals will be provided in disposal containers so that markers can partake of their meals on the school grounds or wherever they consider to be safe.
Arrangements will be made for health practitioners to be on site or within easy reach of the marking centre so as to support and provide advice or deal with any emergency that may arise. Every marking centre will have an appointed Marking Centre Compliance Officer to ensure strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols and manage any COVID related situation.
The Department of Basic Education is confident that marking centres will be safe and secure for marking to proceed in the most conducive and appropriate environment.
Issued by Department of Basic Education, 1 January 2021