This week is a very significant one for the thousands of young people anxiously awaiting their matric results. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga will announce the outcome of the exams on Tuesday.
Whatever the results, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Matric is not the be-all and end-all. After all, the leader of the official opposition, John Steenhuisen, is living proof that it’s possible to get ahead without a tertiary education. You can create a decent future if you don’t have the marks, but have the will.
Patrice Motsepe, South Africa’s first black dollar billionaire, worked at his father’s store and beer hall in his youth. He studied law and made his fortune in mining. American media mogul Oprah Winfrey was born into a poor family in Mississippi in the US, and look where she is today.
Jan Koum, co-founder of the world’s most popular text and voice messaging application, WhatsApp, was born in Ukraine and moved to the US when he was 16. He swept floors at a local shop to survive. Russian tycoon and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich was born into poverty and orphaned at age two.
There are options.
Rewriting matric could ensure excellent marks that could earn you a scholarship to study further. Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges can set you up for life with some practical skills. There is a wide range of qualifications that are overseen and examined by professional bodies.
And if the billionaires mentioned earlier aren’t proof that a brilliant idea and a positive attitude can take you far, there are other ways to land a job without an expensive education.
So, whatever the outcome on Tuesday, don’t lose hope – choose to be positive. Your destiny is in your own hands. Check out City Press’ special matric section for some practical advice.