The matric mid-year June 2021 exams offer valuable preparation for learners for their end-of-year finals; however as a result of the impact of Covid, 3rd Wave and lockdowns, these exams have been cancelled. This is to allow for additional teaching time so that students can complete the whole curriculum before the final exams start.
While it is unfortunate that matrics will once again miss out on the opportunity to to measure their progress using the official mid-year exam as a result of, learners can, with the right approach, still use this period to their advantage. It is an opportunity to make up for the learning time missed during the year and catch up on their studies. There are ways in which learners can mitigate the impact caused by the disruptions in the education sector due to COVID and legal restriction, and ensure they make as much as possible with what they do have available before sitting for their final exams later this year.
The Minister of Education Angie Motshekga, pointed out that many Grade 12s would have lost as much as 60% of teaching time this year by the time they write their finals, on top of the fact that they didn’t finish last year’s grade 11 curriculum. Taking into account these factors, it is clear that this year’s matrics are again under a lot of strain, and being called upon to perform to the best of their ability under rather difficult circumstances. It is critical that learners given enough support at school and at home. Parents and teachers are encouraged to work together to ensure that they support learners in these difficult times. It is the role of both parties to ensure that learners are ready for the exams come end of the year.
During lockdown, the national and provincial education departments ensured that they loaded a host of additional resources on their websites – from exam and study tips to past papers and other resources. Additionally, the public broadcaster regularly schedules lectures which can be viewed for free. There are also videos on YouTube which can assist with those subjects or concepts in which students struggle with. Getting extra help from professional tutors is also another option the parent have in assisting learners prepare for their final exams. With the sage of new technology, tutors are able to offer the convenience of teaching and learning at the comfort of learners’ homes. Giving parents full control of their child’s education, and monitoring the progress. There are option of In-person teaching at home and Online teaching using affordable technology, which is easily accessible to most families. Getting as much as possible from contact classes,and online classes is one strategic way in which students can grasp important concepts and get a better understanding.
Tutoring allows for interactive learning, which is different from the classroom set up found at schools. Learners are able to ask for assistance and clarification on concepts they do not understand. Lastky, although most matrics in South Africa won’t be writing their mid-year exams, anyone can still set up their own mock exams. Getting past exam papers from your school library, your teacher or online, and simulating an exam environment can be another strategy learners and parents can use to measure their readiness for the final exams.
This will give learners good framework from which to proceed with their learning, as it will be easy to measure progress, make the necessary learning adjustments, and also get insight into which work requires additional attention.
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