19 teachers axed from marking centre

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The Limpopo department of education yesterday dismissed 19 teachers who were employed at a marking centre for the matric examinations after it was discovered that they did not qualify.

The teachers were based at the Piet Joubert High School in Limpopo.

They were responsible for marking biology papers for matriculants.

Marking of matric scripts began on Sunday in the province and is expected to end on December 4.

But the culprits were caught before they could play marbles with the future of some of the pupils who sat for their matric examinations this year.

According to Ndo Mangala, the provincial department's spokesman, the teachers were from different schools in the province.

They have since been dismissed from the marking centre and ordered to go back to their respective schools.

This after it was discovered that the 19 teachers were not teaching the subject (biology) at a Grade 12 level.

According to departmental policy, only teachers who taught at matric at their respective schools were eligible to apply and, if they succeeded, mark matric scripts of the subjects they taught at their schools.

It is not yet clear whether the affected teachers actually taught the same subject in their respective schools. But they did not teach at matric level.

Mangala said they had probed the matter in which the teachers were authorised to mark the scripts despite the fact that they did not qualify.

"It is a matter of serious concern that the teachers were allowed to mark matric scripts despite them not qualifying. Someone must account," Mangala said.

He said the blame lay squarely on principals from the teachers' respective schools.

"The rule is clear. Teachers wanting to mark matric examinations must first apply.

"Thereafter, principals must sign forms to confirm that indeed those teachers taught those subjects at their schools," explained Mangala.

After this initial applications scrutiny, there are other forms which principals must fill to release the teachers, he said.

"In these cases, we are convinced that principals have colluded with the teachers to provide us with wrong information regarding the teachers' status at schools. The people at fault are the principals," he said.

Mangala said they were going to charge both affected teachers and the principals. He said the scripts that the teachers had already marked will be taken care of by senior markers.