You Can Begin Again:
Advice to #Classof2015 Matriculants who failed!
The class of 2015 has been the largest group to write the National Senior Certificate exams since 1994. Unfortunately only 70,7% of the 800 000 grade 12 learners passed this year. These results are a five percent drop from the previous year.
This is not a good reflection on the country’s education.
However lets put the stats aside and focus on the real issue, which is that actual teenagers across the country feel their world is crumbling around them today after not finding their names in the newspapers.
This is why Twitter trends such as #AdviceToMatriculants should also extend words of encouragement and wisdom to those that failed their matric in 2015.
It is undeniable that many factors contributed to these final high school year students not passing. For instance some learners are burdened with the reality of being parents to their siblings in child-headed homes. This heavy responsibility distracts scholars from their pursuit of education. While others suffer from depression due to seemingly hopeless situations, some had to take care of disease stricken parents and in light of life in South Africa, of course, there were those who were most likely dealing with rape trauma which is a big problem in our country. These possible reasons for learners failing their matric are amongst a wider array of social issues that the youth face daily.
Social issues that many of us experience on a personal level often cripple ones ability to concentrate and exploit our potential at school. If your classroom was under a tree, would you be able to focus in the dead of winter or during a summer rain storm?
Then don’t assume that every single matriculant that failed their exams was somehow lazy and wasn’t bothered to study.
You may argue that Andrew Tucker who was the top performing student in the country managed to obtain excellent results regardless of being diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disorder called Guillain–Barré syndrome at the beginning of January 2015.
But remember that different people handle different pains in life very differently and we cannot make one persons individual strength a yardstick for all mankind.
With that said, here is advice on how to pick yourself up, dust the past off and move ahead if you failed matric:
You failed matric in 2015, now what?
You failed matric in 2015, now what? Should you kill yourself? No!
Failing matric is not the end of the world.
Consider getting your paper remarked if you believe that there must’ve been an error. Remarking costs money unless you’re a learner from a no fee school.
How can you move forward?
Though you have failed your matric you can still gain access to a Further Education and Training College (FET) to gain a grade 12 equivalent trade based qualification known as the National Certificate Vocational.
With this qualification you gain entry into career fields such Engineering, Management and Early Childhood Development, Tourism and Hospitality to name a few.
Further Education and Training Colleges (FET’s) allow for people who failed matric to still gain access to higher education. FET’s offer National Certificate Vocational subjects. This is a trade-based qualification equivalent to National Senior Certificate (matric) therefore allowing you to pursue a career in careers such as Engineering, Tourism and Hospitality, Management, Early Childhood Development and Finance.
There are three ways to move forward after failing matric.
1. Re-write matric exams:
Contact the department of education via their website www.education.gov.za or firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0800 202 933.
Alternatively you can check with your schools for the dates for the supplementary exams.
2. Re-do your grade 12 year from January to December:
Find out from your school what options they recommend for you to re-do your matric year. You could still enroll with them or ask for a transfer to another school. If you wish to pursue your matric privately then contact institutions such St Frances Adult Education Centre, Abbott College, Intec or Damelin.
3. Study at an FET College:
There are over 40 registered public FET colleges around South Africa, which operate close to 300 campuses spread across the rural and urban areas of the country.
Contact the nearest FET College in your community to find out about how to apply and what the procedure entails.
The South African National Council for the Blind, with R10.4 million aid from the National Skills Fund (NSF), is also setting up a special education and training college, Optima FET Colleg, in Gauteng to help visually impaired learn more skills.
The college will potentially benefit 190 students from designated disadvantaged groups in the three-year project funded by the NSF, 98% of whom would be black African, evenly distributed between men and women.
Failure can feel devastating. But before you hide and settle for never going back to school and having no possibility to have a career consider this advice.
Most of the successful people in our generation and throughout history have failed somehow – sometimes more than once. But they never let a minor setback become their lasting legacy.
By: Tshwanelo Fokazi