Loreto Convent School 2018 matriculants, Mahlaste Makhafola, Axolile Mtandeki and Lerato Phoshoko looking through the newspaper for the results. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency/ANA

With little more than a week before the Matric Class of 2019 get the verdict about their finals results, tension is starting to build. 

Now is a good time to take stock of the bigger picture.

“Anxious parents and guardians need to take a step back and ensure that their concern over what may come doesn’t escalate tension in the house,” said Nola Payne, Head of Faculty: Information and Communications Technology at The Independent Institute of Education.

“It is important at this stage to reflect on the fact that Matric results do not define a person forever, and that many people who did not do well went on to recover from the situation and reach success down the line, while others, who performed fantastically but never leveraged and built on their great results, not so much,” she added.

“Ultimately, by looking at your results, and objectively and dispassionately considering the best course of action from there – whether the results were super or super disappointing – you can ensure that you reach your potential.”

She says parents and learners should remember that failing Matric is not the end of the road and that learners can still do the following to pass and/or improve on their results:

  • Do supplementary examinations later in the year,
  • Return to school to re-do Matric,
  • Go to another school or institution to complete Matric; or
  • Complete Matric via distance learning.

For those learners who passed, but didn’t achieve the marks required for entrance into degree study, the following routes are available:

  • Enrolling for a Higher Certificate at a higher education institution, which can give access to degree study, or
  • Enrolling for a Diploma which can give access to degree study.

A really good option for those learners who don’t see themselves going down the road of repeating Matric to improve their marks, but who still want to earn a degree down the line, is to pursue a Higher Certificate, emphasised Payne.

“Access to study for a Higher Certificate is available to anyone who achieved an HC pass in their National Senior Certificate exams.

“So a less than stellar Matric performance does not mean you have to cancel your plans of degree study. It is however important that you engage fully with your HC studies so that you can develop those key skills you may have been lacking during your final school year,” she said.

Higher Certificates have replaced many foundation programmes, as they provide students with an opportunity to gain a full qualification while at the same time mastering those essential skills needed for higher education success – broadly known as academic literacies. 

Payne explained that a Higher Certificate in Business Principles and Practice, a Higher Certificate in IT in Support Services or a Higher Certificate in Events Management, for instance, will give students access to a BCom, a Bachelor of IT in Business Systems, or BA the year after completion.

“So while waiting for results day to arrive, take the time to consider your options and understand that no matter what happens, you can and – with renewed commitment, will – be able to get back on track on the path of success,” she concluded.