What are the matriculant's rights when it comes to rewriting or repeating a Grade?

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"Each learner has the right to complete their Grade 12 and many tuition providers can facilitate the learning and exams, be it face-to-face, correspondence or online." Photo: Getty Images
"Each learner has the right to complete their Grade 12 and many tuition providers can facilitate the learning and exams, be it face-to-face, correspondence or online." Photo: Getty Images
  • Schools should allow pupils who failed or want to improve their marks without hassle.
  • The closing date for the NCS supplementary exam is 18 February 2022.
  • School may charge a tuition fee for the pupils as they require teaching time.


It looks like schools don't usually allow matrics to repeat a year. One school has refused a pupil, we heard via a reader who shared that her sister sadly failed her matric examinations and wanted to go back to school to redo her matric year, but the school refused.

News24 reached out to the Portfolio manager at Curro Holdings, Jimmy Ladielis, to shed some light on this issue. Ladielis told us that it is not allowed for schools to forbid pupils returning to repeat their Grade 12s when they fail or do not get their desired matric result.

"Schools are permitted to assist pupils who have not met the minimum pass mark required to obtain a Grade 12 National Senior Certificate (NSC). Pupils who have sat for the National Senior Certificate Exams and require to redo a subject/s or want to better their results are seen as adults," Ladielis told us.

This means that the pupil will have to apply for a rewrite from the Department of Education (DOE), where such pupils have a specific registration process. Alternatively, if they want to redo the class altogether, they may have to apply or register afresh at a school.

"Parents and pupils should seek advice from their local DOE. Each pupil has the right to complete their Grade 12, and many tuition providers can facilitate the learning and exams, be it face-to-face, correspondence or online," suggests Ladielis.

Read: I didn't achieve a bachelor's pass. What are my options now?

For matriculants who wish to repeat their matric year or get prepared for a matric rewrite, Ladielis says that the school may charge a tuition fee for the pupils as they require teachers' teaching time, which may happen after hours or during weekends.

Rewriting supplementary examinations

The minimum requirements for rewriting your matric examinations include the following:

  • Need to pass subjects to obtain your NSC
  • Have been unable to participate in the NSC examinations because of medical or other exceptional circumstances
  • Provide proof that you qualify for further studying or job opportunities if you have better results

The validity period attached to school-based assessments (SBAs), practical assessment tasks and language oral assessment requirements has been removed, as per the Government Gazette, Volume 646 number 42430, (claue 8, 6A, (3), allowing all pupils to be able to rewrite their examinations at school if they wish to do so even if the three year period has passed which was the initial expiry date for SBAs.

Also read: Can I rewrite my matric exams? All you need to know about the 2022 NSC June supplementary exams

The registration to write the supplementary examination differs depending on the examination body with which the pupil wrote their NSC, according to Megan Forster, Consultant at Master Maths.

She says that the registration for matrics who wrote the October/November IEB examinations is done directly via the IEB online website and the deadline for these exams is 30 March 2022.

While, the registration for the examinations with the DBE takes place at the provincial level. Pupils writing this exams will not able to register for the supplementary exam on the eservices website.

Instead they must contact their provincial government department to obtain the correct channels for registration. Their local school should also be able to point them in the right direction. The deadline for the NCS examinations is 18 February 2022.

Both IEB and NCS examinations will be held in May/June 2022.

Parents need to decide if their child will complete the supplementary exam held in May/June or the NSC Exams held in October/November of each year. Since these examinations have different registration and closing dates.

The Second Chance Programme 

Pupils who wish to rewrite their matric examinations but have no financial means to pay for tuition fees or tutoring at a school have an option to make use of the Second Chance Programme.

The programme targets students who wrote and failed matric and want to give up as well as those who did not perform to their expectations and want to improve their marks.

This programme offers face-to-face interaction with pupils at centres located nationally offering them study guides, videos and audio lessons, online programmes, television and radio broadcasts. 

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