The pressures of repeating matric under lockdown

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Zandile Mpisane, 18, is rewriting her matric with Rostec College in Johannesburg and is under pressure this year. When schools were closed during lockdown, learning continued for them through social media platforms (WhatsApp).

Like many learners from working class communities, sometimes she could not afford data. Teachers, uncertain if this academic year would be cancelled or not, started losing interest in teaching. Zandile says this made them relax and not study as hard as they used to. This has cost them; many topics were not covered.

When they returned to school on 8 June, she noticed that some of the teachers were not back yet. They were later told that their maths teacher will be teaching both Life Sciences and Maths because the Life Sciences teacher has not yet returned from his home country. Now the maths teacher is moving too fast, trying to cover many topics at once, which makes it hard for them to comprehend.

Zandile fears she might fail for the second time. This will be very disappointing since her family is paying her fees, even though they are barely making enough money. This was the first time she was able to talk to someone about this issue, and she was glad to express how she felt.

This article was submitted on 15 July 2020. 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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