More than a million students will commence their matric exams this Thursday, 5 November 2020 with some private schools having already started last week.
Matric students have faced many obstacles this year with the Covid-19 pandemic affecting their teaching and learning time, as well as, dealing with the social and economic effects of the pandemic.
Many remain optimistic despite the adversities they have had to face.
In an interview with eNCA, matric student Petunia Molometsi said:
“I feel good and I feel confident because we had a whole 3 months to study at home… self-preparing. I feel like our teachers also did the best that they could.”
Many schools made use of the rotation system and teachers were left with very little time to engage with their students and this meant students had to do a lot of preparations for exams by themselves. Many schools also faced Covid-19 infections and had to close for deep cleaning, this alsok even more time away from teaching and learning.
Matric pupil Totang Molelekoa said:
“We did have the resources through online learning to actually study and carry out our own individual studying before the prelims and final exams.”
While another student, Paul Mogotsu argued that he didn’t have enough time to prepare for the final exams as he wrote the preliminary examinations two weeks ago.
Matric pupil Boipelo Seseng reasoned:
“If you use your time wisely, then you can make it and pursue your dreams and everything that you want to do.”
A great deal of schools across South Africa who are disadvantaged did not have access to online learning materials during the harsher levels of lockdown, this posed a question of whether things would be made easier for these students.
“You’ll be surprised with the amount of effort that the department has put into the system because of Covid-19, purhaps we should not pass judgement now and wait for the results even with those rural areas and say with the challenges that we face with Covid-19 how hard the people work.”
Umalusi believes it has done its part and that the Education department has also.
“The challenges of inequalities, that we observe in the system and that we agree [have] always been there are not going to be corrected by Umalusi. Umalusi is a quality assurance body, we are not providers of education,”
Public schools commence exams next Thursday and the last exam will be written on the 15 December 2020, with results expected to be released in February 2021.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé