News | Opinion
As the country celebrates the success of government and independent schools matric pupils of 2020, there is a cloud hanging over the class which will sit the exams at the end of this year.
That’s because, during the Covid-19 crisis, many pupils who are in Grade 12 this year passed Grade 11 without having written any exams.
This was following a directive from the government, which last year had as its priority dealing with the matric class of 2020 and with the effects of Covid-19 and the lockdowns.
ALSO READ: Disruptions in 2020 could hit matric class of 2021 extra hard
Some schools realised last year that not sitting exams would negatively affect Grade 11s going into 2021 and they held exams – but the vast majority did not, meaning that, when Grade 11s write their matric preliminary exams in June, they will not have sat a fullscale examination in 18 months.
That has huge implications for their readiness and confidence for the end-of-year hurdles.
Education expert Mary Metcalfe say the grades prior to matric are vitally important for conceptual and skill foundation, especially in subjects like maths.
An additional problem is that, by her estimate, more than 100,000 matric pupils “dropped out” last year.
The government must redouble support effort for this year’s matric class.
READ MORE: Matric 2020 pass rate of 76.2% better than expected ‘blood bath’ – Min Motshekga
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