What is this Obsession with Matric?!

2016-08-01 12:51

What is this obsession with Matric?!

In January this year, Lumka Elephant, spokeswoman for the Gauteng Department of Social Development, said that many children have run away because they were ashamed to face fellow students and their parents after failing matric. We even read about a pupil who committed suicide. 

Maybe if we keep the results secret, the ones who fail will feel better?

This year, for the first time, the names of matriculants were not published. Only the student's exam number and results were published.

The Numbers that most people ignores

Over 50% of kids who start school in South Africa, will never sit in a Matric Class. They are failed out of the school system before they get to Grade 12.

We are obsessed with getting a Matric, even though most people don't achieve a Matric, and a Matric does not lead to any job

Most kids going to school will not get a matric. And those who get a matric will find that it does not lead to a job. It does not prepare you for a job.

There are also other reasons why we have an obsession with Matric

Most people recognise that those who do best in our society, are the people with the most privilege. And having money, having a degree, being well-connected... these things are all signs that you are privileged.

Matric is not a qualification...

If a Qualification is something that gets you a job, or even just an interview... then Matric is not a Qualification.

 Entrance Test. If you pass it well, then you get accepted to further studies at a University. If you fail your entrance test... well, the studying for that test did not teach you skills or knowledge for any specific job.

Your Matric Pass, without Maths and Science is not worth much

To study a Technical Qualification, after matric, requires that you achieved 50% or more for Maths and for Science. Technical qualifications are not a "soft" option. They require as much a good Matric Certificate, as going to University.

Going to University? How you gonna pay?

University studies will cost your R50 000 per year or more. You can approach the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for help; if you qualify. Nope, they don't have enough money to pay for everyone. Yes, we all want free education. 

Got into a University? Congratulations - now see if you can pass your First Year...

Of the 18% of matriculant that get a space at a University, between 50% and 60% will fail their first year. This is according to Dr. Andre van Zyl, the director of the University of Johannesburg’s Academic Development Centre; and head of the South African National Resource Centre for First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.

If you are Black or Poor, you fare even worse in Matric

The 2016 South African Survey by the SA Institute for Race Relations (SAIRR) has noted "deep-seated racial and social inequalities" in South Africa's matric results. 

Will I get a job with my Matric Certificate?

Nope. Matric does not prepare you for a job. And it does not teach you how to look for a job. We have 40% unemployment - maybe even more. 

Will I not get a job because I failed Matric?

You will not get a job because we have 40% unemployment. So you don't have a chance. 

If you have some real skills, some real experience, then you are employable.

What does 40% unemployment mean?

In the Great Depression (1930s) unemployment in the USA went up to 25%. In some other countries it went as high as 33%. So 40% unemployment is extreme. It is a disaster. And we have even higher unemployment amongst the youth.

High unemployment also means that if you leave school, then you not only compete with other school-leavers for a job. You also compete against all the other adults out there who are looking for a job.

Final Thoughts

Chasing a Matric Certificate, especially a Matric Certificate with a Bachelor Studies pass, is chasing a ghost. It is a waste of time for 99% of kids who go to school. A Matric Certificate will not get a job for the 99%. And it will not get you to a degree if you are in the 99%.

About the Author

Jan Badenhorst has been involved in private home study institutions since 1992. He is the Founder of College SA, as well as Skills Academy and the Home Study Group. Currently my focus is Skills Academy, as well as the Home Study Group.

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