KZN learner Mfundo Masuku on failing matric – ‘I refuse to give up, my dream will come true one day!’

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If you have failed matric, you can still enroll in the government's Second Chance Programme.
If you have failed matric, you can still enroll in the government's Second Chance Programme.
Gallo Images/Moh Yunus / EyeEm

The country has been in celebratory mode since the release of the results. One by one schools, districts, and provinces have been lauding their top achievers, parading them for all to see.

But on the other side of that day, there were thousands of matriculants who didn't see their name on the paper and had to re-evaluate their lives.

One of them is Mfundo Masuku (20). She had a dream of starting her first-year course in teaching. She had applied at a university in KwaZulu-Natal but was still awaiting a response.

She was nervous about her results because the exams were a stressful time for her, and she did not know where she stood.

On the morning of the results Mfundo, from Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal, says her family sent her a copy of the newspaper to see whether she had made it to the list of matriculants who had passed, but she was nowhere to be seen. 

“I checked for my exam number maybe five times and I didn’t see it,” Mfundo says. “I was heartbroken. Devastated to say the least.” 

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Mfundo was alone at home when she received the horrible news and had to inform her grandmother and aunt. 

“Telling them was a nightmare. I knew they would be disappointed,” she says. 

“My grandmother has not stopped reminding me since. She has called me all sorts of names and compared me to other children who made it. That is very discouraging,” Mfundo says.

“At some point, I wanted to hurt myself or take my own life. But I thought of all the successful people who either dropped out of school or also did not make it. I will give it a try. I do not want to give up.” 

Mfundo says one of her friends has been very supportive and is helping to keep her motivated. 

“I have not seen my other classmates, because I was ashamed. But one of my friends who made it has been very supportive. My boyfriend who is studying his second year has also encouraged me to not give up,” Mfundo says. 

“But I sometimes wake up feeling like a failure, then I motivate myself and say, I am not a failure, everyone has stumbling blocks in life. I need to learn from this and move on.”  

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Mfundo is not giving up on her dream of one day becoming a teacher. 

“I am not proud of failing,” she says. 

“I failed because of Geography and Mathematics. In the term before, my Geography was coming okay, but Mathematics made me very nervous. I struggled to study. Every time I would study, it was difficult to remember anything.”

Mfundo says she wishes she had a tutor because she truly struggled to learn on her own. 

“The teachers tried to help us, but exam time was very difficult. I would study but go blank when in front of the paper because I was nervous.” 

Seeing her friends pass and be happy is the motivation for her to give it another try.

“It’s not the end of the world. I am not proud of myself, but I have learned that I need to focus on my studies if I wish to pass. Not everyone is naturally gifted and maybe some of us need to work harder.” 

Mfundo is going to better her subjects, so she could fulfill her dream of teaching. 

“I will not be going back to the same school. But I will find a college instead of just sitting around and doing nothing. I want to do better. I love working with young students and helping people. My dream is to be a teacher or to work at correctional services and I believe my dream will come true."  

What to do if you did not pass Grade 12

Remarking or re-checking examination answer scripts
Candidates may apply for re-marking or re-checking of examination answer scripts immediately after receiving their results.
Application forms for re-marking or re-checking of examination answer scripts are available from schools, examination centres where you sat for the examination, or at the nearest district office.

Supplementary examinations
Candidates who qualify for a supplementary examination can register at the centres where they sat for the examination immediately after receiving their results. These are candidates that have not met the minimum promotion and certification requirements, but who require a maximum of two subjects to obtain the National Senior Certificate; also candidates who could not sit or finish the examination due to medical reasons, a death in the immediate family, or some other special reason, provided documentary evidence is submitted; and candidates, who are one requirement short in satisfying the minimum higher education or higher education faculty requirements (documentary evidence must be submitted.)

Those learners who do not qualify to write the supplementary examinations
Those who have not succeeded in their examinations and who do not qualify for the supplementary examination must re-enroll at a school without delay, as long as they meet the age requirement (which is under 21years of age).
This will give them a second chance at writing their Grade 12 NSC. With additional effort, they will succeed.

Grade 12 learners, who failed and who are over 21
Register as part-time candidates or enroll at Adult Education Centres.
Participation in programmes at these centres is free and is available for young people and adults who have not completed their formal schooling.
In addition, they could explore other vocational options such as Further Education and Training Colleges.


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