Spokesperson for the Gauteng education department Steve Mabona said the results from matric preliminary exams are not good. The department has sent 10 000 learners who didn’t get good results to camps.
Learners were checked in to matric camps over the weekend and will be spending the rest of the week preparing before exams start. The department has also set up walk-in centres where learners can attend revision classes every day including weekends.
Many of the learners at the camps have marks that put them in the level 2 category.
“It’s quite concerning because when you are at level 2, you are on the borderline of failing so that’s why we felt that we need to make sure that we go and polish on whatever that we can utilising this last week.” said Mabona.
English Home language is one of the subjects that the department is concerned about. Mabona said learners will fail if they do badly in their Home Language.
The department is not expecting a high pass rate because the prelims help the department predict what the final exam marks will be.
Mabona has appealed to parents to give learners time and space to focus.
“They don’t need to be thinking about fun now. They just need to focus and make sure they are not derailed by matric dances. Some schools are facilitating those…They need to understand that the matric dance is not going to assist you,”
If learners test positive 10 days before exams begin or miss an exam because of Covid-19, they will only get a chance to rewrite next year in May/June.
Spokesperson of the Department of Basic Education, Elijah Mhlanga explained that learners could face two risks if schools host matric balls now.
“The first one is you could organise a gathering where learners are at high risk of being infected and when they are infected then it means they will not be able to write the exam for as long as their results indicate that they are positive”
The second risk that the department fears is that learners will lose focus and pay more attention to partying.
“The focus will be too much on these parties and move away from the real world which is revision. In that case, then they will fail”, said Mhlanga
This year’s exam paper will not be made easier than in previous years. The department has justified not changing the exam because the papers have already been set by Umalusi.
The department also said it doesn’t want learners to be bullied or looked down on because they wrote an easier paper.
“We don’t want learners to be told ‘you wrote an easy paper’. So the paper is still a difficult one so that’s why we said they must go back and utilise the previous question papers to guide them to understand what is coming,” said Mabona.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé