Failing matric not the end of the world
For many who wrote the 2019 national senior certificate, Wednesday’s release of the results was a day of celebration and anticipation, but for others it was deeply distressing.
As the country celebrated the best matric pass rate in 25 years, for those who failed to make the grade it would have been a time of sorrow.
Those pupils and their families must, however, remember that failing matric is not the end of the road.
There are a number of options available and pupils, given the right advice and the necessary emotional support, can ensure that failure is just a blip on the road map to a successful future.
From a practical point of view, those who have failed can apply to have their exams remarked, can retake their exams, join the government’s second chance programme (www.education.gov.za) or look to courses at Technical Vocational Education & Training (TVET) colleges for which a matric pass is not needed.
What is important to note, however, is that depressed pupils without support will not be able to move ahead with plans for their future, and as such family and friends must encourage them to seek help.
The SA Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag, on its website, says 9.5% of teen deaths in SA are caused by suicide, with exam disappointment a possible trigger.
Sadag advises parents and pupils in need to seek help immediately, saying that failing matric is not the end of the world and the only “big” mistake a person can make is not seeking help when it is needed.
Parents of those who have failed must also ensure they let their children know there is a support structure in place and that they are loved.
Sadag runs a counselling helpline that is open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.
Concerned parents, teachers or peers can contact a Sadag counsellor toll-free on 0800-21-22-23 or 0800-12-13-14, or send an SMS to 31393.