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Cape Town – Although the top-achieving matrics are celebrating the end of their school careers tonight, the remainder of class 2020 remain nervous ahead of Tuesday’s release of the results of the National Senior Certificate test. Yonela Kulati, 18, who attended Joe Slovo’s Sinenjongo High School, said she was anxious, nervous, and had sleepless nights often, dreaming of her performance. Because of Covid-19, Kulati said becoming a matriculant was a challenging experience.

“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 the support she got from her family was her highlight. “It made me feel light, and at the end of the tunnel, I was immediately reminded of light, and I felt so important.” Executive Director Basil Manuel of the National Professional Teachers’ Organization of South Africa said the union was part of all the processes that contributed to the publication of the results.

It would be unreasonable to assume that the results would change from last year’s, given the disruptions of Covid-19, given the fact that some children missed significant quantities of work and catch-up was difficult, but I think the results we are going to get are a testament to the endurance of the children and teachers,”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,”

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He said they expected a small drop in outcomes, perhaps around 5%, but he said he hoped the standard wouldn’t drop much. Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said she was looking forward to this week sharing some positive outcomes with her pupils. “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,” Schäfer said. She said she felt, however, that the province would acquit itself well and was proud of the work done by the matrics and their teachers, and how, despite what was happening around them, they kept working.

“The number of learners taking and passing mathematics and physical science is on the decline, and this year, we are hoping for improvement,” Sayed said. Sharna Fernandez, MEC for Social Progress, said in life, it was unfortunate but true that not everything goes the way we want it to. Fernandez said it may be difficult for both learners and parents to come to grips with a potential disappointing matrix result, and the best path forward might not be obvious.

She said there was no question that the dissatisfaction of a learner about their outcomes could cause trauma or other feelings of deep unease. “It is in this regard that I would like to warn all students and parents that the Department of Social Development (DSD) of the Province provides support to both parents and enrollees in need of counseling services,” Fernandez said. For guidance about how to seek aid, the public can access the programs by visiting either of the regional or local offices nearest to them or by calling the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250.

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