Following the drop out of over 800 markers in Gauteng, Naptosa is concerned about how the rest of the exam marking process will go.
Naptosa Executive Director, Basil Manuel said although Gauteng and other provinces seem to have the situation under control, there is no guarantee that the marking process will go as planned over the next few weeks.
"Our concern lies more with continuous infections and sporadic withdrawals that may now start happening. We are happy with all the processes in place, but of course it is the unknown factors that we have to be concerned about because we will only know about them when they actually happen." said Manuel.
More than 1 000 markers have pulled out nationwide, with Gauteng in the lead with 887 markers dropping out in the first week.
The KwaZulu Natal Education also faced a similar situation, with a total of 102 markers withdrawing for various reasons.
“Others have tested positive, others are in quarantine, isolation, others indicated they fear for their lives and unfortunately others have succumbed to COVID-19." said KwaZuluNatal Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu.
Despite the withdrawal of some markers, the Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal education departments said they have the situation under control.
"When we recruited, we had reserves, that's why it was easy for us to replace the 102 that have withdrawn. One of the areas of concern is the continued increasing number of fatalities as a result of COVID-19 in the province, we have lost about 106 educators and 51 of those people who died only in December which shows really that the second wave is hitting us hard,” says Mshengu.
Although the Department of Basic Education has put safety measures in place, many exam markers travel on a daily basis, increasing the risk of infection.
Manuel hopes that things will continue to remain on track as marking continues.
Naptosa has acknowledged the efforts of the education department in making sure that all markers are safe at exam marking centres.
"The overwhelming report we are getting is that the boxes are being ticked...Of all the marking centres (we have 35 000) we've had 6 or 7 complaints so at the moment it shows that things seem to be working." said Manuel.
Manuel said he does not want people to start relaxing and forgetting about the regulations as this will compromise the health and safety of all markers.
Marking is expected to end on 22 January 2021, as the department plans to release results on 23 February 2021.