Gauteng education prepares matric learners for exams

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Ten thousand matric learners around the Gauteng province are being drilled at last minute camps. The Department of Education has set this week aside for the matric learners who did not do well in their preliminary examinations last month.

Matric learners start writing their final exams on 5 November with English Paper 1.

The SABC visited one of the camps during the weekend.

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The Gauteng Education Department is taking no chances. With COVID-19 having disrupted the schooling system and some learners finding it difficult to keep up, the department has this week taken 10 000 learners to various campsites.

The camps are in addition to Saturday classes which all township learners had access to in the last few months.

Vincent Zulu runs the department’s program called the Secondary School Improvement Program.

“This program is there to ensure that these learners also have confidence when they sit for exams. The teachers and the district are making sure in terms of the content that may have missed, because some of these learners may not have been able to go to classes because of the disruptions by COVID-19.  So, they are able to therefore cover all those gaps.”

The camps will focus on gateway subjects such as Mathematics and Physical Science.

Maths teacher Steve Shaku says an analysis of the preliminary examinations has pinpointed specific gaps.

“We’ve seen from Paper 1 that the learners are struggling with finance, also with algebra and sequence and series which are the content where we should be doing some drilling. We believe that if we focus on them then they will be able to move from their levels to a higher level and in paper two, we are looking at statistics, trigonometry, and geometry.”

Impact of COVID-19 on learners’ marks 

A learner from Maboya Secondary School in Benoni, Thembile Ntsangweni says his marks have been dropping this year, especially for Geography. He says the COVID-19 pandemic also put him off balance as schools opened and closed and their teachers’ efforts to continue teaching through WhatsApp groups did not quite work out.

“The teachers managed to create some group chats for some of the subjects and they were sending work from school, so we can do homework from school … but the environment where I am located is quite noisy, but I managed to keep up my own pace and study.”

Matric learners share their feelings about the upcoming exams:

This camp in Magaliesburg has 200 learners from 33 schools in the East Rand. There are other camps sites all around the province with a total of 10 0000 learners.

The department hosts the camps every year in pursuit of bachelor passes and the number one spot when results come out.