“The focus of pupils is derailed by matric balls which in the past were scheduled a couple of weeks prior to the NSC Examinations.”
Matriculants across the Province are fluffing their feathers in anticipation of their upcoming matric dances, many of which are expected to take place before schools close at the end of this month or at the start of the second term.
Previously most schools in the Province held their matric dances at the end of the third quarter after their prelims. However, this year, following an instruction by the Northern Cape Department of Education, all matric balls must be held before the end of April.
Education department spokesperson, Geoffrey van der Merwe, confirmed yesterday that the instruction had come from the department, according to a circular, issued in September last year, that all schools must have their matric balls before the end of April annually.
“Our reasoning is quite clear,” Van der Merwe said. “The focus of pupils is derailed by matric balls which in the past were scheduled a couple of weeks prior to the NSC Examinations.”
He added that the dances also resulted in the unavailability or absence of a number of Grade 12 pupils, who were in desperate need of the intervention programmes scheduled by the department. “It also hampers pupils’ preparations and their readiness for their final examinations.”
Van der Merwe stated further that the department was bound to ensure that every pupil in the Province enjoyed an enabling environment in which to concentrate and flourish at school. “We have taken this conscious decision with the best interests of our pupils at heart.”
Among the schools that will be holding their matric dances at the end of this month are Floors High, Homevale High, Adamantia and Technical HIgh School, Girls’ High and Diamantveld. Some schools, including schools in Kathu and Namaqualand, will be holding their matric dances at the end of April, while Northern Cape High School is set to hold its dance in the middle of April.
“It seems strange to be having matric dances at the beginning of the year,” a local service provider said yesterday, “but I can understand the motivation behind it. By the end of the year, the matrics are so busy and the schools’ programmes are also hectic.”
She added, however, that the department should also consider looking at holding matric dances in June/July. “It might also deter girls from wearing dresses that are very revealing because it is so cold.”