Update: on Tuesday, 2 February, the Department of Basic Education agreed to clarify the confusion regarding the deadline for matric re-write registration, and to update its website to reflect that the cutoff date is Friday 12 March 2021. Only manual registrations will be accepted.
We know that having a matric qualification opens doors to education and employment opportunitiesHowever, every year, many young people do not make it to Grade 12, do not pass Grade 12, or pass Grade 12 without a Bachelor’s Pass.
The Department of Basic Education’s Second Chance Matric Programme, launched in 2016, provides another opportunity to achieve matric or improve matric results. These Second Chance opportunities are vitally important to thousands of South Africans – every year around a quarter of a million young people access these opportunities.
The current registration deadline is unrealistic.
The current registration deadline for the re-write in May/June 2021 is 28 February 2021. Due to the disruption to the 2020 school year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 matric results will be released to learners on 23 February 2021. This gives learners only five days to register from the day they receive their matric results!
In the past, there would be a few weeks between learners receiving their matric results and the registration deadline. Five days is very little time, especially since many young people will be dealing with feelings of disappointment and failure when they receive their matric results. We should not place additional, and unnecessary, pressure on young people who want a second chance.
Those who wish to register to re-write can do so at one of the 75 district education offices  across the country or online through the e-Government Portal . Although this may sound quite straightforward, we know that, in the past, learners have struggled to use this online portal and have had to spend money they do not have on travelling to district education offices. We can expect that if we do not #ShiftTheDate, many learners in the Class of 2020 will simply not be able to register, leaving them in limbo for anywhere between six months to a year.
Why is this important?
Because of the disruptions to the 2020 school year, these second chance opportunities are going to be more important than ever to help young people to achieve the very valuable matric qualification. Learners in the Class of 2020 must be given every chance of successfully registering for these opportunities.
It is unacceptable that the registration date for Second Chance mid-year examinations has not been changed to accommodate the later than usual release of the matric results. The Class of 2020 faced an immensely challenging school year. Let us not further disadvantage them.
We, therefore, call on the Department of Basic Education to extend the registration deadline for the Second Chance May/June 2021 examinations. This request has precedent. In 2019, when the Class of 2018 received their matric results on 4 January, the Department of Basic Education extended the registration deadline – from 31 January to 18 February  – for those who wanted a second chance to write matric exams. We call on the department to do so again in 2021.