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School year ‘flies by’ for NC matrics

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The Department of Basic Education has announced that the start date for the National Senior Certificate examinations is being pushed forward to October 27.

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WHILE the Department of Basic Education announced that the start date for the National Senior Certificate examinations is being pushed forward to October 27, Grade 12 pupils in the Northern Cape said on Wednesday that it feels as if their last two years of high school have “flown by”.

The department announced on Wednesday that the matric exams will no longer start on November 1 as previously announced.

The department said that this was done to accommodate the local government elections, with South Africans set to head to the polls November 1.

It said that the amended exam start date of October 27 will allow pupils who are 18 and eligible to vote the opportunity to go and cast their ballot.

Matric pupils in the Northern Cape are currently in the process of writing their preparatory examinations, which started on August 30.

The preparatory exams are scheduled to end on September 23.

A number of matric pupils in the Province said on Wednesday that it feels like the year has “rushed past” and they have yet to fully come to grips with the fact that they are at the end of their high school careers.

“Last year and this year have been such a rush and some of the things are just a blur. When we compare our Grade 12 year to that of those learners before us, then we become jealous. We have to lose out on so many things. The majority of us had to miss out on having a matric ball,” said one matric pupil

“The school year is also so strict and serious that one does not have time to just take a moment to enjoy it with your friends. We are not promoting not studying or making serious decisions about your life and career path during the last years of schooling, but it was just one thing after the other. We are currently in the process of writing our preparatory examinations, then some of us will only have about three weeks to jump into the year-end examinations. We, however, try to keep our heads above water and hopefully it will not affect our examination results.”

Other matric pupils shared the same sentiments.

“Most people usually talk with such nostalgia about their last year at school. People have old photographs they took with class friends and teachers. Matric ball pictures are also portrayed in many households. The majority of us had to give that a miss. We hardly even saw our school friends and the teachers were only preaching about what a short time we have left until the year-end examinations. Now that day has crept even closer and thereafter we will have to go off to university and college. Everything happened so fast,” a pupil said.

Others felt that it is better to “just get all the work out of the way”.

“Ever since Covid-19 hit our shores the school year has been a disaster. One moment we were not certain whether we would ever return to the classroom. We have missed out on a lot of schooling but the teachers did everything to ensure that we catch up with the curriculum. We are currently writing the preparatory examinations and that is preparing us for the final examinations. Those who are still complaining about the school work at this stage clearly have not prepared themselves as the year is at an end.”

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