File photo: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)
File photo: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

No delays expected in KZN matric marking process after death of two markers

By Sakhiseni Nxumalo Time of article published Jan 13, 2021

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Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal government says the matric marking process will not be delayed following the death of two markers.

According to the KZN Department of Education, the two markers were from Estcourt under uThukela District and Inanda Seminary under eThekwini District respectively.

The details were revealed by the MEC for Education Kwazi Mshengu during his visit, together with KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala, to monitor the marking of matric examination scripts in uMlazi district yesterday.

Mshengu said the two teachers arrived at a marking centre last Wednesday and the following day, they started experiencing health challenges. He said they were then taken to hospital where they later died.

“We are very saddened about losing dedicated teachers. After we were made aware of the incident as the department, we had to make sure that proper procedures were followed. We then traced and tested all the markers who were in contact with them,” said Mshengu.

He said Covid-19 tests were done and fortunately, all the results came back negative.

“This goes to show that as long as compliance is adhered to, everyone will remain safe. There were nine contacts in Estcourt, and they all tested negative, while the one who was based at Inanda Seminary was yet to start with marking.”

Mshengu said the department was continuing with the screening process, however, they would be conducting Covid-19 rapid testing which would be led by the provincial department of health.

“Using this rapid testing, all the teachers in our centres will be tested. We have had a number of teachers who have (been) tested but none of them tested positive. We have not foreseen any delays.”

Mshengu said the department was hoping to wrap up the marking process by January 23.

Speaking during the visit, Zikalala said the provincial government was saddened about the deaths of the two markers.

Zikalala said they were pleased with the measures implemented by the department in the marking centres.

“In each class, there are at least 12 to 18 markers, the whole class would be ordinarily taking more than 30 people. The accommodation is also provided in a manner that conforms and adheres to safety regulations,” he said.

Zikalala said the department would be conducting visits to other districts during the course of the marking process.

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