Department of Basic Education director-general Mathanzima Mweli. Picture: Masi Losi
Department of Basic Education director-general Mathanzima Mweli. Picture: Masi Losi

Matric marking 90% completed, says DBE director-general

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Jan 20, 2021

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MARKING for the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) final exams is almost completed with just a few marking centres finishing up before Friday, said the Department of Basic Education’s director for examinations Priscilla Ogunbanjo.

Ogunbanjo was speaking alongside the department’s director-general Mathanzima Mweli at a press briefing where they gave an update on the progress of marking exam scripts.

Ogubanjo said more than a million people wrote the final examinations. She said the November examination had three cohort groups which were the 2020 matric pupils, the NSC 2020 candidates, who were registered to improve their marks in June, and the Senior Certificate candidates, who were also due to write in June last year.

“Over 90% of the 177 marking centres have completely closed,” said Mweli at the start of the briefing.

The marking of exam papers started on January 4 and was set to be completed on January 22.

Ogubanjo said the marking had been completed at least three to four days before the scheduled deadline.

She said the Northern Cape finished their marking on the 16th, Gauteng on 18th, KwaZulu Natal on the 19th and Limpompo was finishing today. Other marking centres were in the process of packing up, she said.

Ogunbanjo said capturing of the data had begun three days after the commencement of the marking, and that it was set to be completed on Monday.

The next step would be the standardisation, which would include the re-evaluation of the papers to see whether they were in line with the career objectives.

Following that, on February 12, Mweli will meet with Umalusi, the council that sets and monitors standards for general and further education and training in South Africa, to discuss any irregularities which may have been encountered.

The DBE will then present the preliminary results to the Department of Higher Education on February 19, and final results will be released on February 23.

In total, Ogunbanjo said at least 45 272 markers were appointed, and 2 463 withdrew, but 1 736 replaced those withdrew, leaving the country with 98.6% of markers.

About 315 markers tested positive for Covid-19, 168 of those did not even make it to the entry of the marking centres.

Three markers from KwaZulu Natal died due to Covid-19, one in Gauteng, one in Limpopo and one in the Western Cape as well.

“When they arrived, they were already sick or had shown symptoms,” she said.

Mweli applauded markers for their act of patriotism. “Men and woman offered to risk their health to carry out this task. Some felt obliged to due to patriotism,” he said.

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