Failing Grade 12? You still have options for a tertiary education

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There is no reason why any student has to repeat three years’ of schooling at a technical and vocational education and training college if he/she has failed Grade 12. Picture: iStock/Gallo Images
There is no reason why any student has to repeat three years’ of schooling at a technical and vocational education and training college if he/she has failed Grade 12. Picture: iStock/Gallo Images

Are you failing Grade 12? Don’t stress. You still have options when it comes to that “matric” pass.

Here’s what you can do if your results aren’t what you hoped.

First, it doesn’t make sense for a learner who failed Grade 12 to go to a technical and vocational education and training college and to enrol for a post-school qualification.

Such a learner is actually placed in an NQF level 2 programme (equivalent of Grade 10) at the college, and the learner must also repeat the equivalent of Grade 11 and Grade 12 before he/she could start with a first-year tertiary programme.

In an economy where skills development is supposed to receive high priority, repeating three years of high school because one failed Grade 12, does not help the youth to become economically active.

The Grade 12 year is a very stressful year and it is not uncommon for a learner’s marks to drop with as much as 20% compare to the marks that the same learner has achieved in Grade 11.

Therefore, if a learner had good marks (average of 55% to 60%) in all his/her Grade 11 subjects, why penalise that learner in the way that the technical and vocational education and training system does?

The fact is that there is an alternative available to learners who failed Grade 12 despite having had good marks in Grade 11.

There are many private institutions that will allow a learner to start a further education and training programme after he/she completed Grade 11.

Such a learner can enrol for a national certificate that is the equivalent of Grade 12 and, on successful completion, the learner can do at least two more further education and training programmes that lead to a national diploma that is one level below a degree.

Thus, having a valid Grade 11 school report that shows good marks, a learner can earn actually start a college career despite the fact that he/she did not make Grade 12.

What is more, the further education and training qualifications that the learner can obtain are all recognised by professional bodies.

The possibility to become a member of a professional body without having a degree indeed gives a competitive advantage to any person who is serious about his/her career.

From the above, it is clear that there is no reason why any student has to repeat three years’ of schooling at a technical and vocational education and training college if he/she has failed Grade 12.

The fact is that entry into some national diploma programmes do not require a Grade 12 Certificate.

In addition, the national diploma programmes that are recognised by some professional bodies have a high reputation.

No young person who completed a national diploma that is recognised by a professional body should feel inferior about their achievement – especially when they are able to place professional designations behind their names.

Peter van Nieuwenhuizen is chief financial officer of Growth Institute, a private college offering a range of commercial, tourism and hotel management programmes

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