Matric exam marker injured as storm rips Free State school's roof off

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A matric marker has been injured after a storm blew off the roof of a school in the Free State, the education department says.(@Tutu59181128 via Twitter)
A matric marker has been injured after a storm blew off the roof of a school in the Free State, the education department says.(@Tutu59181128 via Twitter)
  • A person has been injured at a Free State matric marking centre during a storm.
  • The roof of the marking centre, at a Thaba Nchu school, was blown off.
  • The education department is assessing the extent of the damage to exam papers.

One person has been injured after a storm blew off the roof of a matric exam marking centre in Thaba Nchu, Free State.

Albert Moroka High School was pelted with hail, before strong winds tore the roof off the marking centre on Wednesday afternoon, the Department of Basic Education has confirmed.

Markers were grading Accounting Paper 2 and Business Studies Paper 2 on Wednesday. Marking at the centre started on 8 December and was scheduled to conclude on 22 December. There are 112 markers at the school.

"Markers ran for cover as the storm pounded the venue where the scripts were being processed," said Dr Rufus Poliah, chief director for public examinations and assessments at the department.

"One marker was slightly injured, while the rest escaped unscathed."

Initial reports indicated that some scripts had been damaged in the hail, Poliah said.

"A high-powered delegation consisting of senior officials from the DBE and Umalusi will be visiting the marking centre. We appeal for calm at this stage while we establish the extent of the damage. We are working as fast as possible to resolve the matter, but we can assure the candidates that nobody will be disadvantaged as a result of this natural disaster."

READ | Eastern Cape initiate killed by lightning as more thunderstorms expected for the province

The department would relocate the marking to another location, Poliah said.

"We thank all our colleagues on the scene for working hard to ensure that everybody is safe. We will provide counselling to members of the marking team following the trauma and shock of the events that threatened their lives," he added.

"The DBE is confident that this incident will not impact adversely on the finalisation and release of results in the province."

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