Matric class of 2021 lost more than 50% of their Grade 11 year - Umalusi
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The Matric class of 2021 remained resilient despite the unprecedented challenges and losing more than 50% of their grade 11 year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This emerged at the opening of the Umalusi Standardization meeting yesterday.
The Director-general, Mathanzima Mweli, said the matric class of 2021 was disrupted in their schooling for two years and lost more than 50% of their grade 11 year due to the pandemic.
“This class was disrupted in their schooling over the last two years, a double-whammy, and although 2021 was a more stable year, the impact of the loss of more than 50% of their grade 11 year has serious consequences for this class. The crucially important foundation that Grade 11 work builds in preparation for grade 12 was weakened,” he said.
He also revealed that leaders in education, parents, teachers and learners went through trauma due to Covid-19, and there was a high degree of anxiety, fear and uncertainty, but they demonstrated resilience and commitment to education.
“Countless families have been pushed to the limits of financial endurance from lost jobs and income. Not only this, but also many families have lost family members and friends due to the pandemic. Children have lost their parents, grandparents and caregivers,” said Mweli.
The Class of 2021 was also the first class to be presented with the amendments to Section 4 of CAPS which impacted 20 of the 67 subjects of the class.
A further unanticipated hurdle that confronted the class of 2021 was the load shedding that would have adversely affected their final preparations for the examination.
However, according to Msweli, the education sector implemented a support programme for this cohort.
“The sector increased not only the leaner beneficiaries and scope of the intervention but also the number and the type of interventions offered to the class. The largest learner support programme, namely the vacation and Saturday classes, were initiated from the early part of the year and only ended the day that examination was written.”
According to the education department, the class of 2021 had the largest number of candidates in years, a total of 733 746 full-time registered to write the 2021 NSC examination.
“A total of 123 487 more full-time candidates and 46 942 more part-time candidates registered to write the examination. Of the 733 746 candidates that registered for the examination, 700 604 candidates wrote the examination, which reflects the lowest percentage of “no shows” (4.5%), over the last few years.”
Mweli said that the increase in the number of full-time candidates could be attributed to several factors, and one of the key factors is the change in the assessment regime in Grade 10 and 11, which was prompted by the need to create maximum time for teaching and learning.
“The school-based assessment in Grade 11 was increased from 25% to 60%, and examinations were replaced by controlled tests. Hence, the change in assessment practices resulted in a different outcome,” He concluded.