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Psychology experts and youth councillor call for the support of those who fail their exams

Experts have urged parents, and communities to provide the utmost support to the 2021 matriculants whose results may not be what they had anticipated. Picture: COURTNEY AFRICA

Experts have urged parents, and communities to provide the utmost support to the 2021 matriculants whose results may not be what they had anticipated. Picture: COURTNEY AFRICA

Published Jan 21, 2022

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DURBAN - EXPERTS have urged parents, and communities to provide the utmost support to the 2021 matriculants whose results may not be what they had anticipated.

An educational psychologist at Unisa, Fhatuwani Makahane, said communities needed to be cautious and not apply “unnecessary pressure” on pupils but encourage them to explore alternatives available to ensure that they better their chances of gaining admission to tertiary institutions.

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Makahane emphasised that matriculants who had not done well should not feel sorry for themselves.

“You can approach your nearest high school and talk to the principal to find out what options they can offer you. If need be, you can repeat the year and rewrite your matric. Another option is to register for an ABET (Adult Basic Education and Training) course which gives you a matric equivalent qualification,” said Makahane.

He also advised learners not to put themselves under pressure and harm themselves when their desire to be accepted at tertiary level was not met.

“Disappointment can result in suicide incidents as learners are often subjected to pressure. Some learners may lack coping strategies and support from significant others in dealing with the negative outcomes of their matric results. The truth is that the greatest people who have achieved in life have once, twice or thrice failed in their lives, so it is important to regard failure as a reminder that we must change our ways and do better,” said Makahane.

Youth counsellor and social worker at Kids Haven, Annie Maboea, said that supporting matriculants through the anxiety of matric results and beyond was of great importance.

“It’s important to gather the support of parents, family members, friends and the community at large to offer comfort and reassurance to matriculants, that it’s normal to feel worried, disappointed, angry and sad about their results. Most importantly, they need us to assure them that unfavourable exam results do not in any way mean the end of the world, as there are a number of possibilities open to them to take matters forward.

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“Matriculants who did not perform well must know that they can do supplementary exams or approach the Further Education and Training (FET) colleges where they will be advised on what needs to be done,” said Maboea.

Counselling psychologist and public speaker Tholinhlanhla Dlamini-Ngcoya said that in the midst of focusing on the results, parents often critically missed the psychological and emotional impact this was having on their children.

“We need to give our children emotional support and encouragement, make them understand that no matter the outcome of the results, they still matter to us and that we are proud of them for doing their best under the most difficult and stressful pandemic of Covid-19,” said Dlamini-Ngcoya.

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