A young person in the Youth Capital Network shared his experience of having a matric certificate, “Having a matric certificate helped me to get a job at the mine. The certificate is required when you want to apply for jobs”.
Certification drastically improves young people’s life chances: for education, employment, and earnings.
Second chance opportunities offer those young people who have been pushed or pulled out of school, or those who made it to Grade 12 final exams but failed or got poor results, another opportunity to obtain a matric certificate or improve their results.
At any given time, about a quarter of a million young people are working towards a matric certificate outside the full-time schooling system. This means that close to a third of the annual matric cohort is ‘on the fringe’, taking a ‘second chance’ at a Grade 12 qualification.
Completing matric, especially without the structure and support of a school classroom, takes resourcefulness, sacrifice, and commitment. Despite the obstacles and setbacks they face, hundreds of thousands of young people undertake second chance pathways to improve their Grade 12 results, or obtain a matric qualification.
Every year, around 40,000 young people obtain a matric certificate through the Department of Basic Education’s Second Chance Matric Programme, which offers various pathways to certification. But, because second chance matriculation is rarely reported on publically, this cohort of highly-dedicated youth remains in the background.
The disruptions to education caused by COVID-19 mean that it is more urgent than
ever that we support alternative pathways to certification. For more young people to access and
succeed in second chance opportunities, matrics ‘on the fringe’ must be made visible.
As a country, we should be getting behind our ‘second-chancers’ – expanding, supporting, and
celebrating their journeys to certification.