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March 2021 1st edition

Another chance to get your matric

Written by Cathy Grosvenor

It is never too late to get your matric or to achieve the results you want, is the message behind the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) Second Chance Matric Support Programme.

Director of the programme, Dr Sandy Malapile, says a matric qualification is an absolute necessity because without it, many doors of opportunity remain closed.

“Sector Training and Education Authorities (SETAs), tasked with upskilling the nation through skills programmes and apprenticeships, also require that candidates have a matric,” says Dr Malapile.

Launched in January 2016, the Second Chance programme supports anyone – of any age – who wants to achieve or improve a matric qualification, subject-by-subject and on a part-time basis. There are no costs involved.

Who qualifies?

  • People who want to improve their matric results, whether they wrote matric recently or even decades ago. Dr Malapile explains that a person wanting to obtain an engineering qualification, for instance, might need to improve their mathematics mark to qualify for the course.
  •  People who failed matric and want a second chance at passing.
  • People who left school after passing Grade 9 (then Standard 7), are 21 or older, and wish to obtain their matric.

How to get started

Register at one of the 75 district education offices across the country or online at this website: www.eservices.gov.za.

Registration opened on 1 October and will close in February 2021. Learners either study on their own or at one of the 133 Second Chance centres where face-to-face learning takes place after-hours and on weekends.

Dr Malapile says only the top performing teachers in each district are employed at these centres. The centres are not available in every town and village, but are located in areas where the greatest number of people have registered, which means their location could change each year.

Both face-to-face learners and learners who study at home have access to a full range of study support services, from lessons broadcast on radio and television at specific times; to downloadable online material; and, for those without access to computers, printers and the internet−printed study material is sent to them by the DBE. People with a computer but no internet or data, may request a CD with all the study material, which will be mailed to them.

“Many adult learners may not have lots of time to devote to their studies. Luckily, they may decide how many subjects they want to do a year because they do not have to complete their matric within a set time.”

Once registered, the DBE will help each older learner choose the subjects they want to do and explain which ones are compulsory.

On qualifying, people who left school after 2008 receive a National Senior Certificate and those who left school earlier, receive an Amended Senior Certificate. However, Dr Malapile says both qualifications carry the same weight and, depending on the subjects taken and marks achieved, can be used to apply to universities and colleges.

Giving second chances

The DBE holds community roadshows to encourage people to enrol for the Second Chance programme. Tertiary education institutions and SETAs are invited to provide as much information as possible to interested people.

At many of these roadshows, Minister Angie Motshekga was asked by youth to introduce programmes that could assist young people to be more employable, says Dr Malapile.

In response, the DBE is launching a skills development programme this year that will target about 3.4 million young people who are not in employment, education or training. Courses will range from life skills – covering topics such as how to write a CV and what to do at a job interview; to basic skills courses, such as shoe repair, basic ITC and literacy.

Did you know?

  • Regardless of whether you left school in the 60s or recently, you have to study the current curriculum.
  • The South African education system also caters for people who dropped out before Grade Nine, through the Dep Did you know?
  • Regardless of whether you left school in the 60s or recently, you have to study the current curriculum.
  • The South African education system also caters for people who dropped out before Grade Nine, through the Department of Higher Education and Training’s adult basic education and training programme.