Disgruntled matric markers, who are also teachers in schools across the NW province, have for the past two weeks complained about the lack of basic amenities such as flushing toilets and a shortage of running water. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
Disgruntled matric markers, who are also teachers in schools across the NW province, have for the past two weeks complained about the lack of basic amenities such as flushing toilets and a shortage of running water. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Matric markers continue to endure harsh conditions at Bethel High School

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Dec 17, 2021

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Pretoria - The plight of the 450 matric exam markers struggling to access running water at Bethel High School marking centre in North West persisted for a second consecutive week.

This was despite an undertaking by the provincial Department of Education to attend to the problem after a meeting with the markers last week.

The disgruntled markers, who are also teachers in schools across the province, have for the past two weeks complained about the lack of basic amenities such as flushing toilets and a shortage of running water.

To address their woes, the department hastily hosted a meeting with them last week, but by Wednesday they said nothing had come of it.

They said the meeting with the department's deputy director-general, Dr Shadrack Mvula, failed to yield a solution, as they were still forced to carry water in buckets to the toilets to flush them.

Teachers, who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation, said they were still frustrated because “there has not been any change”.

Since their arrival at the centre, they had experienced constant power outages without prior notification.

They had also complained about not being able to take proper baths owing to the lack of running water.

A marker said: “We use a kettle (for boiling water), and they bought a few 20-litre plastic urns to warm water every day.”

Last week the teachers threatened to boycott the marking of scripts due to lack of basic amenities.

However, many seemed to have decided to endure the environment because there were only two days of marking left.

Contacted for comment about the department’s unfulfilled promises, education spokesperson Elias Malindi promised to respond, but by late yesterday had failed to do so.

This was despite last week’s admission by the department that it was “aware of the challenges experienced at the school”.

“We have requested the school governing body to procure pressure pumps, water dispensers, JoJo tanks and to fix the electricity at the school,” Malindi said at the time.

He said a team of plumbers were repairing the ablution facilities.

The marking at 20 marking centres in the province is expected to be concluded by Sunday.

Pretoria News

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