Pretoria News - - METRO - PRO­FES­SOR KOBUS MA­REE Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria

MA­TRIC exam re­sults are a source of joy for many, but if pupils do not achieve the marks re­quired for univer­sity ad­mis­sion, they must not give up hope. It is not the end of the world.

Kobus Ma­ree, a pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tional Psy­chol­ogy at the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria, asserts that the word “fail” has no place in so­ci­ety. The phrase “in­suf­fi­cient achieve­ment” was more ap­pro­pri­ate, he said.

“While your cur­rent marks will co-de­ter­mine whether you will be ac­cepted into your pre­ferred field of study, they will not de­ter­mine if you will be suc­cess­ful in life, nor will they limit your ca­reer prospects.”

“If you achieved re­sults that were be­low your ex­pec­ta­tions, this is a man­age­able chal­lenge. Try to see what has hap­pened as an area for growth; an op­por­tu­nity to demon­strate your re­silience and be­come more adapt­able. This is a key char­ac­ter­is­tic and strength in these rapidly chang­ing and un­cer­tain times,” Ma­ree said.

Pupils who per­formed in­suf­fi­ciently can ap­ply for the re­mark­ing of their papers, reg­is­ter for and write sup­ple­men­tary ex­ams, or even redo their grade or re­peat cer­tain sub­jects.

Also, re­mem­ber that go­ing to univer­sity is not the only choice. One should not be set on a par­tic­u­lar ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tion, whether it is a univer­sity, univer­sity of technology, col­lege, or pri­vate train­ing in­sti­tu­tion.

Sev­eral spe­cialised di­plo­mas and cer­tifi­cates al­low for a range of ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties that can make stu­dents highly em­ploy­able and pro­vide them with more op­por­tu­ni­ties than some com­mon de­grees.

A tip is to thor­oughly re­search ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents who have al­ready grad­u­ated – both now and in the fu­ture. Ask your­self reg­u­larly whether you will still be em­ploy­able in five, 10, or 15 years time.

What if pupils achieve a ma­tric ex­emp­tion pass but it is not strong enough for ad­mis­sion to univer­sity?

They should find out if they can still ap­ply for a sim­i­lar field of study at a dif­fer­ent in­sti­tu­tion or at an­other level of train­ing. Es­tab­lish whether you qual­ify for an ex­tended or bridging pro­gramme. Con­sult a coun­sel­lor for in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing whether it is ad­vis­able to rewrite rel­e­vant papers, to have your papers re­marked, or to re­peat cer­tain sub­jects.

If you de­cide to reap­ply for the fol­low­ing year, con­sider tak­ing a gap year, work­ing part-time, or find­ing some other ac­tive and con­struc­tive way to spend the time. Speak with a per­son who has not been suc­cess­ful pre­vi­ously but has man­aged the sit­u­a­tion suc­cess­fully.

Ac­cord­ing to Ma­ree, while a par­ent will feel dis­ap­pointed when their child is less suc­cess­ful, fo­cus­ing on what might have been serves lit­tle pur­pose. He of­fers the fol­low­ing advice:

● Re­as­sure your chil­dren and com­mu­ni­cate openly. Talk to them or text them. Of­fer them emo­tional sup­port. Ask them how they feel. Care­fully note their body lan­guage.

● Let them know there is a sup­port struc­ture in place; that you re­gard them as pre­cious, and that you love them un­con­di­tion­ally.

● Re­mind your child that this has been just one exam, one tran­si­tion, and give them hope. Many peo­ple fail their Grade 12 ex­ams but go on to be suc­cess­ful in later life.

● If your child acts out and makes you feel mis­er­able, this should be con­sid­ered “nor­mal” un­der the cir­cum­stances. Do not blame your­self.

● Seek the help of an ed­u­ca­tional or coun­selling psy­chol­o­gist if you fear your child is sui­ci­dal. Be con­cerned if he or she stops talk­ing, cuts him­self or her­self off from fam­ily and friends, or seems de­pressed.

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