The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education has sadly lost another matric exam marker due to COVID-19. Just last week, a marker died in Estcourt, also due to COVID-19. Thereafter, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) called for a stoppage of matric marking, to allow rapid testing at Estcourt in KwaZulu-Natal. 

COVID-19: FEMALE MARKER PASSES ON IN HOSPITAL AFTER FALLING ILL 

The female marker, according to KwaZulu-Natal Education Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi, was at the Inanda Semenery marking centre where the maths, literacy paper was being attended to. 

Mahlambi said the educator came to the marking centre on 6 January and the next morning on 7 January reported that she was ill. She was eventually rushed to hospital and passed on there on Monday 11 January. 

The Department of Education in the province has since passed its condolences to the bereaved family and the entire education department. 

SADTU CALLS FOR RAPID TESTING 

Following the death of the matric marker, Sadtu called for a stoppage of matric marking, to allow rapid testing at Estcourt in KwaZulu-Natal. Apart from that, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Secretary Nomarashiya Caluza called for deep cleaning of the centre.  

“We want to remind the Department that it is all about saving lives and they must prioritise that in order to avoid further spread of the virus,” said Caluza. 

“SADTU monitors have been visiting centres and in some centres compliance is highly compromised. Markers were found chatting in large groups. The Department had told us that there is a compliance officer in each centre and we call upon these officers to take full responsibility for compliance-related matters in their centres,” Sadtu said in a statement. 

DBE CONCERNED OVER LACK OF SOCIAL DISTANCING AT LIMPOPO MARKING CENTRE 

While the Department of Basic Education (DBE) inspected various marking centres in various provinces, it did not appear to be happy with one in Limpopo. DBE Director-General (DG), Mathanzima Mweli expressed concern at the Merensky High School regarding a lack of social distancing. 

“I have inspected the marking Centre at Merensky High School. I am very concerned about the lack of social distancing here,” he said on Twitter. 

“It is of utmost importance that we ensure the safety of our markers,” he added. 

Mweli, thereafter, requested the provincial education department and the Centre manager to attend to it urgently.

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Presh JM Reporter

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