As the 2015 academic year draws to a close, matriculants anxiously await their results, expected to be released on the 6 of January 2016. Looking back at the year, students expressed mixed sentiments.
”My matric papers are the last thing on my mind,” exclaims Junaid Martin, a student of Alexander Sinton high school.
“The moment I left the exam room I clicked the reset button and forgot everything I just did.”
Students were under a huge amount of stress coming from the high expectations by both parents and teachers.
”So much pressure has been placed on matriculants by parents and the school to succeed and this has made the year very stressful,” says Martin.
”Matric is no joke. It takes hard work and a lot of sacrifices to get through it. It is very challenging but if you are determined to succeed then it’s a challenge that anyone can overcome,” he adds.
Thaafirah Van der Schyff, a matriculant from Al-Azha High School, said the final year has been “very overwhelming”.
“It’s important to always remember your goals and to persevere through everything.”
Time constraints also contributed to the amount of stress that matriculants suffered under. The pressure to process so much information and absorb an entire curriculum was a huge challenge for some.
Van der Schyff, adds that time was one of the greatest challenges she had to face. The workload was immense and it took a lot of perseverance for her to stay focused.
”I wish I had more time to prepare. Exams were tough and a lot of pressure was placed on me to succeed,” says Luqmaan Sambo, a matrciulant from Al-Azhar.
Friendships and social lives also took strain according to some, as exam prep and studies dominated the agenda.
”I sacrificed my social life for my studies,” says Van Der Schyff.
”My social life was non-existent,” Sambo adds.
While the year may have been tough, there were also some memorable moments that were made.
”The highlight of my matric year was my matric ball,” says Martin.
”For me the most memorable day was my valedictory. There was an awards ceremony as well as speeches acknowledging all our teachers from grade 8 till matric,” Van der Schyff said.
Although the Fees Must Fall campaign surged at university campuses across the country which was driven by and aimed at university student interests, this year’s crop of matriculants have also been affected. Some matric students are torn between the message of campaigning for reduced fees but also fearing the violence which has marred the protests.
”I am very scared to attend varsity next year because of the violence that occurred,” says van der Schyff. ”I hope I’ll be able to adapt.”
”I feel like the protests were done for me and the future generation to come. I am against the violence that occurred but I fully support the message behind it,” says Sambo.
With the many matriculants who will be passing their finals and moving on to tertiary education there will be some who sadly will not be achieving the minimum pass requirements. However there are various opportunities to rewrite. VOC (Amina Waggie)