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The 30% matric pass - to whose advantage is it?

22 April 2014, 18:45
The first time I heard that matriculants only needed a 30% pass requirement for three out of the six subjects they have, I was tremendously shocked.

The first thing that came to mind is that who does this benefit? The government; because it will boast the matric pass rate? The students; because they will have a matric certificate at the end of the day?

In all honesty, when looking at this with a clear head and point of view, it is quite obvious this is to no one’s advantage.

The reality is that, having a matric certificate will not necessarily open the (significant) doors a student will hope to be opened. The world out there is tough and competitive, when an individual pins their whole hope on a matric certificate which they only passed with a bare minimum of 30%, there are other matric students who have managed to pass theirs with flying colours.

How does the rest than get to even come close to opening significant doors for themselves? From experience, no university has ever taken in a student with such a mark, even someone with an average up to 70% in South Africa can find it quite impossible to get in the university of their choice, if it is difficult for a student with an average of 70% to get in, imagine how difficult is it with a student who only managed to pass matric through the skin of their teeth, which is not barely much.

What people (and government) don’t realise is that tertiary education is a continuation of one’s formal schooling career. Learning does not stop at the end of grade 12, the same work that one did at school still continues when they get to varsity.

Tertiary institutions in South Africa face so many challenges for students, because the majority of South African student did not get a proper formal education.

Some students, for the first time in their life are thrust into the deep end when it comes to academics, some it is the first time they will ever make use of a library or even come into contact with the internet (as such, many students must be orientated with something they were supposed to have learnt in primary school) because those basic services government has not provided for them in their significant communities.

So one can say that tertiary institutions come into contact with relatively functionally illiterate students These results in failure rate at universities which lead to some dropping out as well as receiving academic expulsion.

I honestly feel that this motion put into place that allows matric students to be able to pass matric with 30% out of the six subjects they have is not really building South Africa as a nation.

Firstly it is encouraging laziness; secondly it will deter dreams because it is only after matric that students realise they should have studied harder when doors closes in their faces due to their weak performance.

South Africa needs to put education forward, and in order to do so we should stop making education a joke, because this is what it is, a mere joke that will see us not going anywhere.

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