Cape Town - The 2021 matric examination markers have been urged to get vaccinated before reporting for duty, as marking gets under way today.
National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA (Naptosa) executive director Basil Manuel said they had asked the department to make sure that markers, and everyone who will be at the marking centres, are fully vaccinated.
This after the Department of Basic Education (DBE) announced that the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams had come to an end without major incidents that could compromise the examination as a whole.
The five-week long exams, which began on October 27, were written in 6 326 public centres, 526 independent centres and 326 designated centres.
More than 897 700 candidates registered to sit for the November 2021 NSC examinations, comprising 735 677 full-time candidates and 162 109 part-time candidates.
DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said marking was scheduled to commence today and end on December 22, with more than 41 500 markers appointed to mark the scripts at 193 centres located in nine provinces.
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said she was pleased that the session had been largely free of disruptions, barring the difficulties faced by the pupils due to load-shedding and flooding on the Garden Route.
“We now move into the next phase, with scripts being marked,” Schäfer said.
She said more than 3 300 markers will mark 890 000 examination scripts at 11 marking centres in the province.
Naptosa made a joint submission with the SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) to DBE calling for teachers to produce a negative test result before they are granted access to any of the marking centres.
Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke also urged markers to get tested before entering marking centres, stating that last year some of the markers went to the marking centres being fully aware of the status but they put money above the interest of everyone at the centres.
“Risking others is totally unacceptable and the DBE must ensure that the centres can’t be super-spreaders,” Maluleke said.
He said on the vaccination, they could only encourage the workers to take up the vaccine but it would be difficult to make it a precondition to enter the marking centres.
Mhlanga said the department had increased the number of marking centres to ensure better compliance with Covid-19 protocols.