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It’s never too late to get your matric

Written by: Allison Cooper

Generations of people who were unable to finish high school because of personal challenges, are still able to get that much-desired matric certificate.

When Frans Mpete was 15 years old, hard times forced him to leave school. Fast forward 50 years and Mpete, now 65, is close to ending his years-long regret of not having matriculated.

The resident of Lombardy East in Johannesburg says he always felt he was missing out because ‘without matric you are less able to earn a good income’.

“If you lack skills, your chances of being employed are limited,” he says.

A keen newspaper reader, Frans had read many articles over the years about people obtaining a qualification despite all odds and decided if they could do it, so could he.

In 2018, he registered with the Gauteng Community Education and Training College and completed Grade 11, attending classes part-time at Realogile High School in Alexandra. He now has two subjects left to write before obtaining his senior certificate.

“Unfortunately, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has delayed my studies and I think I will only complete the course next year,” Mpete says.

Because he does not have access to a computer, Frans has found the work very challenging but remains determined to succeed.Frans Mpete, who – at the age of 65 – is working towards achieving his matric certificate.

After helping his family at home for a number of years, Frans found a job as a gardener at Rand Aid Association in Edenvale in 1975, when he was 20. Forty-five years later, he is still with the organisation – today as a head office driver.

Born in Brits and raised in Rustenburg, Frans had a rural upbringing and looked after his grandfather’s cattle.

In 1988, he married Thandi and the couple had two children, daughter Dimakatso and son Kgotso.

Retirement from Rand Aid is on Frans’s horizon but he is still determined to get a matric certificate.

Frans has the following words of advice for youngsters writing matric. “Pay now and play later,” he says. “Put in as much hard work as you can as you write your final exams and you will reap long-term benefits. Having a matric certificate will open up many opportunities for you.”

Older adults can still get their matric!

Government’s Amended Senior Certificate (ASC) – also called Adult Matric – enables people who were unable to finish high school to get their matric, no matter what their age.

 The following learners will qualify for admission to the ASC:

Adult learners who are 21 years and older who have a General Education and Training Certificate (GETC); a Grade Nine school report (or the old Standard Seven), stating that they have passed Grade Nine or Standard Seven; or a recognised equivalent qualification obtained at NQF Level l, which requires two official languages.

Adult learners who are 21 years and older with an incomplete Senior Certificate qualification.

Adult learners who are 21 years and older with an incomplete National Senior Certificate and whose School-based Assessment (SBA) validity has expired.

In exceptional cases, out-of-school youth who are between 18 and 21 years old and who could not complete their school education due to circumstances beyond their control, may be accepted.

To pass the ASC, a candidate must select six subjects. Studies are done part-time or online.

The Amended Senior Certificate academic year is from August to June and not January to December, like ordinary matric.

To register, visit any provincial education office (which includes the provincial head office, the district office or a circuit office) or register online at www.eservices.gov.za.

For further information and provincial contact details, visit www.education.gov.za/Curriculum/SeniorCertificate.aspx or call the DBE’s call centre at 0800 202 933.