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Big day for Western Cape matric pupils as exams begin

Grade 12 learners at Stellenberg High school preparing to write their English paper 1. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency

Grade 12 learners at Stellenberg High school preparing to write their English paper 1. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency

Published Oct 27, 2021

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Cape Town - Matrics across the country today sat down to begin writing the most important exams of their school careers.

They are expected to write their English home language, English first additional language and English second additional language, with a total of 63 202 learners to write in the morning session.

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A few of them started last week with other subjects, including IT.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer sent her wishes to them on Tuesday.

She said “very, very good luck to every one of our matrics for your last school exams ever. You have come this far.”

Schäfer said it had been a difficult time for them, but they had a whole province rooting for them.

She said she knew that they were up to the challenge and looking forward to celebrating their results in January.

“I also just want to say to each one of you – just do your best. While this is an important exam, there are options if you don’t do as well as you hoped. So just focus, do your best and soon it will be over. Don’t forget to eat healthily and get enough sleep,” said Schäfer.

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Premier Alan Winde said he was “incredibly proud” of each and every matric learner across the province.

Winde said the Covid-19 pandemic had placed so many additional hurdles in the way of the class, but they have overcome them to get this far.

“This is a remarkable class and I salute you.”

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Winde encouraged those who are battling with stress and anxiety during this time to contact their teachers or school for support, or contact the Safe Schools call centre for a referral on 0800 45 46 47.

National Professional Teachers Organisation of SA (Naptosa) executive director Basil Manuel said there was general acceptance last year that the matric class of 2020, the first to write the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exam, having endured the full-blown effect of Covid-19 conditions, had been seriously compromised.

“While the class of 2021 did not have to contend with the same disruptions (lockdowns) to their academic year, their challenges, if anything, were even greater than that of their 2020 counterparts,” said Manuel.

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