‘Its never too late’ is the motto behind The Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) Second Chance Matric Support Programme which gives ordinary citizens a chance to complete their matric certificates irrespective of their age.
Director of the programme, Dr Sandy Malapile said a matric qualification is an absolute necessity because, without it, many doors of opportunity remain closed. “Sector Training and Education Authorities (SETAs), tasked with upskilling the nation through skills programmes and apprenticeships, also require that candidates have a matric,” said Malapile.
Malapile explained that a person wanting to obtain an engineering qualification, for instance, might need to improve their mathematics mark to qualify for the course.
The programme supports anyone who wants to achieve or improve a matric qualification, subject-by-subject and on a part-time basis at no cost. Learners either study on their own or at one of the 133 Second Chance centres where face-to-face learning takes place after-hours and on weekends.
Malapile noted that only the top-performing teachers in each district are employed at these centres. The centres are not available in every town and village but are located in areas where the greatest number of people have registered, which means their location could change each year.
During the programme, learners have access to a full range of study support services, from lessons broadcast on radio and television at specific times; to downloadable online material; and, for those without access to computers, printers and the internet−printed study material is sent to them by the DBE. Individuals who own computers but have no internet or data may request a CD with all the study material, which will be mailed to them.
According to Malapile: “Many adult learners may not have lots of time to devote to their studies. Luckily, they may decide how many subjects they want to do a year because they do not have to complete their matric within a set time. “Once registered, the DBE will help each older learner choose the subjects they want to do and explain which ones are compulsory, she explained.
On qualifying, people who left school after 2008 receive a National Senior Certificate and those who left school earlier, receive an Amended Senior Certificate. However, Malapile said both qualifications carry the same weight and, depending on the subjects taken and marks achieved, can be used to apply to universities and colleges.
Moreover, the DBE holds community roadshows to encourage people to enrol for the Second Chance programme. According to Malapile, During the roadshow’s, Minister Angie Motshekga was asked by youth to introduce programmes that could assist young people to be more employable.
In response, the DBE is launching a skills development programme this year that will target about 3.4 million young people who are not in employment, education or training. Courses will range from life skills covering topics such as how to write a CV and what to do at a job interview; to basic skills courses, such as shoe repair, basic ITC and literacy.
Interested candidates can register at one of the 75 district education offices across the country or apply online on this website: www.eservices.gov.za.Registration opened on 1 October and will close in February 2021.