Education

Post-strike exam woes for matriculants

Duduzile Mathebula

The strike may be over but the anxiety has only just begun for matric students. We talk to pupils from public and private schools.

The crippling public sector strikes were halted for 21 days this week—with teachers and nurses back at work. However matric pupils must race to catch up as exams loom.

We talk to five matriculants from private and public schools in Gauteng to find out how they’re feeling about their future.

Mosa Kgaswane from Letsibogo Girls High School—a public school in Johannesburg, Gauteng, with 40 pupils per class.



How has the strike affected your education?

The strike has had a very bad impact on my education because we don’t go to school and there are some topics we have not finished doing. Even though we have study groups, there are some things teacher needs to explain so we can understand better. The worst part is that our preliminary exams have been postponed and we don’t know when we are going to write [them].

How do you feel about the upcoming exams?
I am very nervous, as we have not finished some of the modules in other subjects and I don’t know what to expect or look forward to in the exams. But I hope that all the study groups I’ve been attending during the strike will help me get better outcomes.

Do you feel your teachers adequately prepared you for exams before the strike?
Well, the teachers were in the process of preparing us and our principal, Ms Kondowe, visited our classes several times to encourage us, but due to unforeseen circumstances they had to go on strike.

What are you going to do next year?
Next year I want to go to university and study a bachelor of science in physiotherapy.


Tebogo Mailula from Mokgome High School, a public school with 40 students per class.



How has the strike affected your education?

The impact is that we have a lot of pressure and we have a lot of work to do and, yes, we study but the thing is [teachers] have to explain so that we understand better.

How do you feel about the upcoming exams?
I am scared and nervous because I don’t know what to look forward to.

Do you feel your teachers adequately prepared you for exams before the strike?
They were about to [but] unfortunately the strike began.

What are you going to do next year?
I am going to study media.


Nompumelelo Nkosi from Letsibogo Girls High School, a public school in Johannesburg, Gauteng with 40 students per class.



How has the strike affected your education?

It has had a very huge negative impact due to the unfinished syllabus. We needed all the extra lessons like afternoon classes and Saturday school programme we could get our hands on, but due to the despicable and unforeseen strike we can’t do that. It has added a lot of pressure on us.

How do you feel about the upcoming exams?
I am quite nervous, as I’m not sure how things are going to work out, but a little bit of stress has been reduced as we have been having study groups and frequently going to the library—me and my entourage.

Do you feel your teachers adequately prepared you for exams before the strike?
They have been alerting us and encouraging us to study hard, and our principal has had several meetings with us, telling us to focus and study.

What are you going to do next year?
I am actually planning to go to university to study psychology. I hope things work out just as we planned, as the 2010 matriculants.


Meanwhile, students from private schools were feeling more confident about their future.

Tsholofelo Hlabangane from St Dunstan’s College, a private school in Benoni, Gauteng, with 25 students per class.



How has the strike affected your education?

Honestly, the strike has not had any impact on my education because when the strike started we were nearing the end of writing our preliminary exams. Our school closed for a two week holiday soon after our exams.

How do you feel about the upcoming exams?
I am not too stressed about the final exam. I know that if I am self-disciplined, prepare well in advance for the exam and obviously if we get through the syllabus for all my subjects, then I will be fine.

Do you feel your teachers adequately prepared you for exams before the strike?
Yes, our teachers made sure that we’d finished most of our syllabus before we wrote our preliminary exams. We were even doing revision work and past papers in most of our subjects to ensure that we were well prepared for our exams.

What are you going to do next year?
I plan on studying interior architecture.


Omphemetse Keepile from St Mary’s, a private school in Johannesburg, Gauteng, with 12 students per class.



How has the strike affected your education?

It hasn’t really impacted my education but I do think it’s an inconvenience. Now they want to move the preliminary exams and finals. I think that is unfair.

How do you feel about the upcoming exams?
I am still preparing but I am confident.

Do you feel your teachers adequately prepared you for exams before the strike?
The teachers have done their duty its up to us now.

What are you going to do next year?
I am interested in doing a B/com Economics.

Are you, or someone you know, facing a similar problem? Tell us in the comment box below how the teachers’ strikes have affected you.

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