Covid Matriculants Want A Second Chance

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Public school matriculation exam results of 2020 were released on 23 February 2021 and in most parts of the country, the 2020 matriculant results show a decline in the pass rate. While the Department of Education has stated its unhappiness with this, some of the 2020 matric learners are also complaining that it was not fair for them to go to school under the conditions of COVID-19. They believe they would have done better if they attended normal days of schooling, and that they deserve a second chance to do better.

Most of the matriculants in Daveyton (east of Johannesburg), did not even bother to go buy the newspapers on the day the results were release. Some said they already knew that they would not in appear in the papers.

“We are definitely not familiar with the system that was used for us to continue with school during this COVID-19 era. We were used to going to school for a full day and now all that has changed because of the COVID-19 and we had to adapt to a new system of doing things of which was not easy for us,” said Ofentse Pheko, a 2020 matric learner from Daveyton.

Parents are also complaining that their children should get another chance to write their matric exams normally instead of having to write supplementary exams. Many parents are also worried about whether their kids will be able to get university entry or not.
“Our children were already over age for their grades and we feel like the government was supposed to continue with the pass one pass all rule so that the kids don’t waste time having to write sups,” Mme Pelo (not her real name) said. “Ever since this lockdown started my child has been rebellious. Now I’m afraid of what is going to happen to her since she is not going to school worse and her Admission Point Score (APS) still doesn’t qualify her to get varsity entry.”

Samkelo Magubane, a learner from Daveyton had this to say; “I deregistered from matric last year due to the fact that I had hope that this COVID-19 will end.” Samkelo found that deregistering actually helped him because he was not regarded as a learner who dropped out. He will now be able to continue with school and has been studying. Many others had hope that COVID-19 would come to an end by now and school would go back to normal but unfortunately that has not been the case.

This article was submitted on 25 February 2021. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

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