Friday, 01 January 2021 16:31

Staff Reporter.

Photo Credit: GCIS.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has released new directives and protocols ahead of the marking of matric exam scripts.

The directives are aimed at providing guidelines to officials, educators and administration staff who are involved in the marking of exam scripts, as well as other functions related to the finalisation of results for the class of 2020.

Marking will take place at over 180 centres across the country - and more than 45,000 markers have been appointed.

The new directions follow President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Monday that the country would move to level 3 lockdown regulations.

DBE Spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga on Friday said marking was expected to begin on Monday.

"We need to heighten our security protocols in the marking centres urgently because that is the task that is facing us."

At the same time, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi wants the Independent Examination Board to withdraw its court case against Umalusi.

Lesufi on Thursday said the IEB had approached the courts arguing it could not afford to pay for the assessment services offered by Umalusi.

But Lesufi said if their bid succeeded, pupils from rural areas and townships would wind-up heavily subsidising the rich.

"There is no way we can allow South Africans' money to be used to fund IEB clients in Mozambique, Namibia and eSwatini. We are of the view that the days of two separate examination bodies in our country to come to an end."

Meanwhile despite the government’s declaration that South Africa had entered the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Motshekga said that her department was ready for the 2021 academic year.

Motshekga said schools would reopen on January 25 for teachers and learners would be expected back on January 27, saying that all provinces have finalised admission processes.

District offices would be available to assist parents where the need arises.

Motshekga said that since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) had been monitoring the state of provinces on a weekly basis to ensure systems were in place to cope under the pandemic and to provide support where it was needed, to ensure the smooth reopening and running of schools.