Apart from a loss in their academic learning time, the Class of 2020 missed out a few matric traditions. Photo by Michael Walker
Apart from a loss in their academic learning time, the Class of 2020 missed out a few matric traditions. Photo by Michael Walker

From matric balls to valedictories, see what the Class of 2020 missed

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Feb 22, 2021

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While the year 2020 might have cost the global community some of their desired leisure moments, one thing is certain: the year has definitely robbed the matric class of 2020 of monumental traditions that make one’s final year of high school.

Due to the restrictions brought on by the coronavirus which included the banning of large gatherings, curfews and school closures, matrics didn’t have much room to celebrate. In a nutshell, the Grade 12s did not even have much to celebrate during the pandemic due to the stress in loss of the academic year, fear of contracting the virus and some went through the trauma of losing loved ones.

Here are some of the key events and traditions they missed out on:

Matric balls - A matric ball usually takes the form of a formal dinner and dance. Grade 12s get to dress up in designer or custom-made garments, girls would often even hire make-up artists and hairstylist. Boys flexed in their tuxedos, some giving the formal look a modern twist. Matric balls are also often used to show off the cars in which they would arrive in. However, because of Covid-19 and the banning of large gatherings during the lockdown, even when the lockdown restrictions were relaxed, matrics were not able to host matric balls.

Valedictory ceremony - A valedictory is a farewell ceremony often hosted at the school. The event is used to mark the leaving of the Grade 12s and would include award ceremonies and speeches from teachers and some Grade 12 pupils. Parents are often invited to this ceremony as well.

The signing of shirts - Most matrics look forward to this day as it signifies the end of wearing uniforms. Their peers, junior grades and even teachers would write short messages on the matriculant’s shirt as a memoir. This is often done after the valedictory ceremony, on the last day of school before they write the final exams.

Matric rage festivals - These are festivities often organised by matrics themselves outside of the school to celebrate the final year.

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