The Grade 12 class of 2022 have finally received their matric results, and many were hoping to pass without a bump in the road. But the reality is that while some may venture on into higher education (if they so choose), others don't have that option at all.
2022's matrics did not have the easiest road to completing school. Challenges such as loadshedding, allegations of cheating in the exams, community protests, as well as the long-standing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, have made the journey rocky.
There was an eagerness from this group of matrics to get their desired results the first time around, but the reality is that many will be using the second chance matric programme provided by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to rewrite some subjects, whether to obtain their National Senior Certificate (NSC) if they haven't passed, while others may just want to improve their marks.
The Second Chance Matric Programme (SCMP) allows individuals to rewrite their matric examinations while being provided with support from the DBE.
The matric certificate carries quite a bit of weight in South Africa today, due to the economic and severe youth unemployment situation the country finds itself in.
The assumption is that without a matric certificate or without the results to get into a university, there is no other option; that it is the end for a learner who may not have passed with their desired results.
However, there are multiple other avenues learners and parents can consider.
Maseru Madlala, a Skills Training Consultant, says some of the options matriculants can consider is skills development, skills trade, undertaking a matric rewrite, or even consider enrolling at a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College.
The Labour market wants skilled people; that is why when you look at Career Junction's reviews, especially from 2021 to 2022, it's hard for them [employers] to fill the skills gap because they can't find what they want. They're looking for technicians, library science [candidates], engineers, accountants, data capturers...our students/learners focus more on traditional qualifications that we're used to.
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and its National Youth Service, are also available to upskill and develop matriculants into becoming economically active.
There is a group within the youth (around 30%) that are not in education and/or employed, which is concerning given the heavy weight of the unemployment crisis especially amongst South Africa's youth.
Asanda Luwaca, NYDA executive chairperson, says its important for recently matriculated learners to be reminded that not all hope is lost.
We [the Agency] have undertaken a programme through our National Youth Service Unit, wherein we have partnered with an implementing organization that will speak to capturing this exact particular cohort, where we're encouraging young people who haven't made it, to undertake and participate in the National Youth Service Programmes...we're recruiting over 50 000 young people in structured, paid service opportunities.
2022's matrics reached a national pass rate of 80.1% for the NSC examinations. When compared to the 2021 matric pass rate, 2022 saw a 3.7% improvement.