Headmasters give matrics encouragement
Two Mossel Bay high school headmasters have offered encouraging words for matrics who will start writing their trial exams on Monday, 4 September.
The matrics reached the landmark of 40 days left of school a few weeks back, but there is a hard grind still to come.
They write Afrikaans literature on Monday. Hillcrest Secondary School head David Groenewald said: “I have noticed that learners who know what they want to do when they leave school are enthusiastic and focused. It helps. It puts them on a higher level.”
But he also expressed some concerns. Groenewald said many of his matrics came from difficult circumstances and 80% of the work they had to do they should finish at school because they lived in areas where there were no resources and also some did not have their own bedroom or a quiet space to work. Their study time was limited and it meant they didn’t prepare thoroughly for tests.
“Children have a problem with their sources. So much is reliant on the internet. Most places they go to charge money for data. This affects their marks, if they aren’t able to do research, if they can’t afford the money for it.”
Another problem was parents’ lack of involvement. Groenewald said the school wanted to help the parents to help their children, but parents did not attend meetings at the school. Another problem was that children were drawn to taverns and battled to focus. Groenewald has 125 matrics at Hillcrest. He said Hillcrest was one of the schools visited by ATKV representatives who had helped with matrics’ preparation and this had motivated the learners.
Point High School head Kobus Bester said: “Every year this time we find the matrics a bit demotivated. I am not sure why. In the June exams their marks usually drop from the first term. “But matrics need to rest assured that usually their marks improve after that. They do trial exams from 4 to 29 September and they are good preparation for the final exam, because they study all the work they need to know for the final. “When they finish the trials, we have a spring school during the October holiday – extra work and classes and then when exams start, they will be ready.
“In June the marks drop, then there is an improvement in September and then they do better at the end year. Sometimes there is even a 10% improvement. We had a few who failed in June. It happens every year. I really think we will have a 100% pass rate at the end of year.”
Several attempts were made to contact three other high school heads and messages were left for them but they were either travelling or in meetings with inspectors or in courses and did not return calls.
David Groenewald with Hillcrest Secondary School’s headgirl Jodi Baatjies and the headboy, Reabetsoe Lesoetsa, who are ready for the trial exams and who even have an apple for teacher.