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This isn’t the end of the road, there are options still available to you.

The reality is many learners might not get the results they hoped for and some might even fail their last year of school. The class of 2017 recorded a pass rate of 75,1% including progressed learners (76,5% excluding progressed pupils), according to News24.

We’ve put together five tips to help those pupils (and their parents) who don’t pass matric. This isn’t the end of the road, there are options still available to you.

1 Personally pick up your results and don’t start stressing just yet

While News24 and other online matric results portals offer immediate access to your marks once they become available it is important to know these aren’t always accurate – mistakes may occur. It is important to visit your school to personally collect your full academic transcript to ensure you’ve received the correct results.

The exams are over and you can’t do anything to change the results now. So it’s important to use the time to reflect and look forward to the future instead of stressing, says Gillian Mooney, the dean of academic development and support at The Independent Institute of Education (IIE) – South Africa’s largest private higher education institution.

“Instead of stressing, now is the time to consider what you can control and to let go of what you cannot control. For example, the exams are over — you cannot change the outcome, or the exam results,” Mooney told News24. “What you can control is how you react to this outcome, and you can start to plan for a range of possible outcomes.”

2 Request a re-mark/recheck

If you’re unhappy with your results you can request that the education department recheck or re-mark your final scripts, but this does come at a fee. Click here to check out the respective provincial offices for re-marking and rechecking. 

3 Sit for supplementary exams

Supplementary exams are for those learners who have marginally missed their senior certificate qualification due to an unexpected death or if they were proven medically unfit during that period.

There are still a lot of options available to pupils who are unsuccessful but parents need to support their children, Fathima Razack, head of programme at the faculty of commerce at The IIE, told Parent24.

“If parents and learners can handle this situation maturely and strategise their next steps instead of getting stuck in a catastrophising mindset, disappointing performance could be just the catalyst needed to propel a learner in a new and better direction, with more determination and resolve than before.”

4 Parents should support their kids

Learners and their parents may be despondent when they don’t receive their desired results so it is essential for parents not to place undue pressure on their children or to blame themselves.

Other than offering support, parents can always seek alternative ways to improve things, including:

 •Considering the second chance programme which was launched by education Angie Motshekga to provide support for learners who need to rewrite subjects.

 •Encouraging your child to enrol in a bridging course to help build a foundation which will allow them to access their desired tertiary education institution.

•Redoing some subjects – at registered institutions – to improve marks. 

5 Seek professional help

Parents and guardians should be aware of signs of depression in their children should they not pass their matric exams. These include odd behaviour, like sudden withdrawal from the family, sudden mood swings and drastic personality changes.

Immediate medical or professional help is advised, or contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group on 0800-12-13-14 or the suicide hotline on 0800-567-567.


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