Just one more sleep to go and candidates will be sitting down for the 2020 National Senior Certificate examinations. Ramaphosa has sent out a heartfelt letter to Matrics wishing them the best of luck.
The Class of 2020 is due to begin their final examinations tomorrow, 5 November and will write until 15 December.
This year has been one filled with many bumps in the road and adjustments and might have Matrics feeling anxious at the moment. President Cyril Ramaphosa doesn’t turn a blind eye to this though. Ramaphosa issued a letter on Monday which read:
The Class of 2020 has had to endure conditions their predecessors never had to confront. They had to adapt in real time not just to finish the curriculum but to catch up with the learning hours lost. Though some had access to online learning platforms and other resources, many had to struggle with access to learning material and teaching.They had to endure the mental strain of social isolation, and for many months were cut off from friends and their teachers.
Ramaphosa does however choose to see the good side of things as he says that even through all the struggles and bumps in the road, “our learners are determined to present for this exam that is the pinnacle of their schooling”.
He also puts the spotlight on teachers as they have also had to deal with changes and adjustments and might have found this year to be even more demanding and stressful than normal.
“Despite the risk posed by the virus and resource challenges inside our schools, the majority of our teachers heeded the call to return to school to salvage what was left of the academic year,” says Ramaphosa.
Educators are being saluted for being there for students and getting them to this final stretch.
They presented for work every day to support our matriculants. They put in the extra hours to get our learners over the finish line, making the most of the resources they had to ensure learning continued … They have given so much, personally and professionally. They put our learners first and in doing so affirmed once more that our teachers are among our finest public servants.
Due to the National Lockdown which was put in place in March, it sa many learners not have traditional schooling for months and have valuable learning and study hours being taken away.
Another change which the pandemic brought about was that the June Senior Certificate was postponed and is now being written when the National Senior Certificate is written.
This year will see 1 058 699 individuals sit down to write. This, the President says, “makes this combined examination the largest public exam ever administered in South Africa”.
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) was acknowledged by the President as well. DBE has had to make sure that things go smoothly and has had to find extra venues as well as make sure to develop the safety protocols and procedures and how this affected the usual exam procedures.
“This pandemic has brought our nation together in ways not experienced before, and this was demonstrated in the matriculation examination preparations,” continued the President.
Many different platforms were also used to assist learners. The SABC and other TV providers launched catch-up lessons for Matric learners through the Departments Woza Matrics Programme. Thsi gave learners a better opportunity to prepare for the examinations. University graduates also stepped in and set up tutoring platforms online, making much needed supplementary learning support available for free.
In Limpopo, a group of teachers also opened their doors to learners and have provided food and accommodation to small groups of matriculants while also supervising their studies.
“There are no doubt many such stories in other parts of our country; of educators convening home-study groups with their students and of parents providing food, learning space and other resources to their children’s friends. Without the support of parents, families and communities, our young people’s path to the matric exam would have been considerably harder. We thank them for their support.”
Despite all the challenges this year has brought, I call on the Class of 2020 to summon their great reserves of courage and strength in this, the final push. To the Class of 2020, I wish you the very best. You have overcome difficulties that would test the resolve of even the most experienced and hardened adults.
Ramaphosa speasks directly to learners with a heartfelt tone and says, “At your tender age, there are so many demands upon you. There are the pressures of rigorous study, the pressure to excel and to achieve the results you need to study further. And yet you have come this far … You will also carry the hopes of us, the South African people.”
“We are immensely proud of you and wish you the very best of luck.”
Click here to read the full statement.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé