Grade 8 teachers to mark matric

A TEACHER has made allegations that Grade 8 teachers have been appointed to mark matric examination papers.

The appointments allegedly took place in the Obonjeni district in northern Zululand.

The concerned teacher fears that this will affect the overall pass rate.

The teacher, who does not want his name published, said the situation was so bad that teachers would mark papers of subjects they don't even teach.

"I am of the view that this is not on. It definitely compromises the quality of marking as teachers who are not even teaching the subjects have been appointed, while those that are knowledgeable were excluded," the teacher said.

He said that Grade 8 to 11 teachers have been appointed to mark the matric papers.

"This is after they colluded with a school principal to sign their forms for appointment. It's all about the money the teachers would receive after marking the papers.

"Pupils who have worked hard preparing for the final examinations would be let down by such things," the teacher said.

But department of education spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said it was highly impossible for a teacher to mark a subject he does not teach in Grade 12.

"The guidelines are clear that one must be a Grade 12 teacher, teaching that particular subject for three years at least," he said.

Mlotshwa said that before a teacher was appointed to mark a particular subject, there is a long and thorough process that was followed to ensure that he or she qualifies to do so.

"The selection process is very strict as it involves a number of moderators from the department Umalusi (quality assurer). If teachers are found unsuitable they will be removed immediately, even before the marking begins.

"But I don't want to rule out the possibility of corruption because there's a lot of money involved in marking" Mlotshwa said.

Mlotshwa revealed that despite the strict measures put in place, last year three teachers from Ohlange were "caught" before they could begin marking.