Yonela Kulati, 18, who attended Sinenjongo High School in Joe Slovo, said she was anxious, nervous and sometimes had sleepless nights, dreaming about her results. Picture: African News Agency
Yonela Kulati, 18, who attended Sinenjongo High School in Joe Slovo, said she was anxious, nervous and sometimes had sleepless nights, dreaming about her results. Picture: African News Agency

Cape matrics anxious before results announcement

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Feb 22, 2021

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Cape Town - While the top-achieving matrics will be celebrating the end of their school careers this evening, the rest of class 2020 remain anxious ahead of the release of the National Senior Certificate exam results on Tuesday.

Yonela Kulati, 18, who attended Sinenjongo High School in Joe Slovo, said she was anxious, nervous and sometimes had sleepless nights, dreaming about her results.

Kulati said being a matriculant was a difficult experience because of the Covid-19.

"Having to attend classes under a lot of regulations, learning through Whatsapp when the lockdown was implemented...It was a frustrating period; no matric ball, no camps to prepare us fully for the upcoming final exams."

Kulati, who wants to pursue a career in education, said her highlight was the support she got from her family. “It made me feel light, and I was instantly reminded of the light at the end of the tunnel, and I felt so important."

National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa executive director Basil Manuel said the union had been part of all the processes that led to the release of the results.

"It would be unrealistic to expect that the results would improve from last year's, given Covid-19, given disruptions, given the fact that some children missed out large amounts of work and catch-up was difficult, but I do think that the results we are going to get are a testimony to the children’s and teachers' endurance," said Manuel.

He said they were expecting a slight drop on results, probably about 5%, but he said he was hoping that the standard did not drop much.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said she was looking forward to celebrating some good results with their learners this week.

"Although we gave our matrics every assistance we could last year, I would be surprised if we did not see some effect on the results this year," said Schäfer.

She said nevertheless she believed that the province would acquit itself well and was proud of the work that the matrics and their teachers did, and how they kept working despite what was happening around them.

ANC provincial spokesperson on education Khalid Sayed said the Western Cape matric pass rate and quality had been on a downward spiral for the past three years. Sayed said that included those indicators such as the number of schools with a pass rate of less than 60%, which was on the increase for the past few years, the Metro East district challenges remained unchanged and that district was the worst-performing district in the province.

"The number of learners taking and passing mathematics and physical science is on the decline, and this year, we are hoping for improvement," said Sayed.

Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez said in life, it was unfortunate but true that not everything goes the way we would like it to.

Fernandez said a possible disappointing matric result outcome could be difficult for both learners and parents to come to terms with, and the best way forward may not be clear.

She said there was no doubt that a learner’s disappointment about their results might trigger trauma or other feelings of deep unease.

"It is in this regard that I wish to alert all learners and parents that the provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) offers support to both parents and matriculants in need of counselling services,” said Fernandez.

The public can access the services by visiting any of the regional or local offices closest to them, or by contacting the DSD hot line on 0800 220 250 for information on how to access help.

Cape Argus

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