by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – AS South Africa prepares to administer its largest public examination ever, President Cyril Ramaphosa lauded the students and teachers for their resilience.
This follows a frustrating academic year disrupted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the lockdown.
The matric examinations begin on Thursday with over 1 million Grade 12s to write the year-end tests.
To accommodate the disruptions the June Senior Certificate exams were postponed and will now be written together with the National Senior Certificate.
“This makes this combined examination the largest public exam ever administered in South Africa,” Ramaphosa stated in his weekly letter on Monday.
He said the Class of 2020 has had to endure conditions their predecessors never had to confront.
“They had to adapt in real time not just to finish the curriculum but to catch up with the learning hours lost,” the president said.
He said although some had access to online learning platforms and other resources, many had to struggle with access to learning material and teaching.
“They had to endure the mental strain of social isolation, and for many months were cut off from friends and their teachers.”
In addition, the Class of 2000 were not able to participate in sporting, recreational and leisure activities that are seen as essential to a well-rounded life and that relieve the stresses of prolonged study.
Ramaphosa also saluted the educators.
“They have given so much, personally and professionally,” he said.
“They put our learners first and in so doing, affirmed once more that our teachers are among our finest public servants.”
According to Ramaphosa, the pandemic brought South Africa together in ways not experienced before.
“This was demonstrated in the matriculation examination preparations,” he said.
Despite the challenges this year has brought, Ramaphosa called on the Class of 2020 “to summon their great reserves of courage and strength in this, the final push.”
“To the Class of 2020, I wish you the very best,” he said.
– CAJ News