Axing of se­nior mark­ers ‘a slap in the face’

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - LEANNE JANSEN

THE SE­LEC­TION of teach­ers to mark ma­tric exam scripts is again fraught with con­tes­ta­tion.

Teach­ers’ unions have com­plained bit­terly of the ap­point­ment process be­ing un­fair, ac­cus­ing the KwaZulu-Natal Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment of in­ex­pli­ca­bly over­look­ing a num­ber of qual­i­fied and ex­pe­ri­enced se­nior mark­ers.

Two of the coun­try’s four ma­jor teach­ers’ unions – the Suid-Afrikaanse On­der­wyser­sunie (SAOU) and the Na­tional Teach­ers Union (Natu) – have penned let­ters of com­plaint to the KwaZulu-Natal Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment and the na­tional Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment.

Both the provin­cial and na­tional de­part­ments have, how­ever, ar­gued that there was noth­ing sin­is­ter be­hind cer­tain teach­ers not be­ing reap­pointed – it was sim­ply a case of an ever-grow­ing num­ber of suit­ably qual­i­fied ap­pli­cants.

This year, 9 450 mark­ers will grade exam an­swer scripts in KwaZulu-Natal.

Of th­ese, there is a se­nior marker who over­sees ev­ery five mark­ers and a deputy chief marker who over­sees ev­ery five se­nior mark­ers. There are also chief mark­ers and mod­er­a­tors to over­see the process.

Teach­ers be­long­ing to the SAOU and to the Na­tional Pro­fes­sional Teach­ers Or­gan­i­sa­tion of SA (Nap­tosa), and who are ex­pe­ri­enced se­nior exam script mark­ers, were shocked not to be ap­pointed this year, say­ing the norm was to be re­s­e­lected for at least three con­sec­u­tive years. The teach­ers in­tend lodg­ing for­mal griev­ances with the provin­cial depart­ment.

Reniël Lodewyk, the head of the SAOU branch of KZN, said that to re­place ex­pe­ri­enced se­nior mark­ers with­out any ex­pla­na­tion was “a in the face”.

She added: “You can’t just re­place ex­pe­ri­enced mark­ers and be­lieve that the cur­rent stan­dard of mark­ing will be the same.”

Lodewyk was also wor­ried that at a spe­cific KwaZulu-Natal school, there had been a com­plaint that most of the teach­ers who were pro­fi­cient in Afrikaans were not ap­pointed to mark an­swer scripts.

An­thony Pierce, the head of Nap­tosa’s KZN branch, re­marked that he too had re­ceived a num­ber of such com­plaints.

He re­marked that the ap­point­ment of ma­tric exam mark­ers re­mained a po­lit­i­cally con­tested arena.

No­marashiya Caluza, act­ing head of Sadtu KZN, said she had re­ceived a few sim­i­lar com­plaints, but that each year, a cer­tain por­tion of the pool of mark­ers had to be the newly qual­i­fied.

Allen Thomp­son, na­tional deputy head of Natu, said that while he had re­ceived many sim­i­lar com­plaints, there was no guar­an­tee that se­nior mark­ers would be reap­pointed from year to year.

What had up­set Thomp­son were claims that teach­ers who did not meet the cri­te­ria were nev­er­the­less ap­pointed.

He had writ­ten to the na­tional depart­ment to com­plain and threat­ened to take the mat­ter up with Umalusi, the exam qual­ity watch­dog.

Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment spokesman Eli­jah Mhlanga re­sponded that all the teach­ers’ unions had been in­volved in the process of ap­point­ing exam mark­ers.

An au­dit had been done of the ex­pe­ri­ence and qual­i­fi­ca­tions of all the mark­ers, and the depart­ment was sat­is­fied that the right peo­ple were ap­pointed.

Provin­cial depart­ment spokesman Muzi Mahlambi said exam mark­ers reap­plied ev­ery year and there was no guar­an­tee.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.