Bad Matric Results or Failing - How to Help Your Child Cope
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Resources to help your teen deal with bad matric results

12 Jan 2016 LIFESTYLE

By Nomali Cele

How to help your teen deal with bad matric results

Every year,  people selling and delivering newspapers are greeted by anxious teenagers who just couldn’t wait until the next day to receive their full statements of results and read their fate.

But do bad matric results seal a matriculant’s fate?
Matric, the culmination of a child’s basic education career, is an important part of his or her education and paves the way for the next step in life. However, passing the final exams with flying colours is not the be-all and end-all.

Though it’s easy to understand that there are other options out there, it might be hard for your teen to see them at this moment. If your teen is feeling dejected, it’s important to get them help and encourage them to talk about how they feel at this moment. When he or she has worked through the disappointment, he or she can focus on their next step. The time after the results are released can be critical for a young person’s mental health. It’s important to encourage your child to speak about how they are feeling about the bad results.

Mental Health Resources and Support Centres
As hard as it may be to accept, parents aren’t always the best people to help their children. As much as children know they are loved and supported, the conversations they need to have about what failed matric results mean for their future and how they feel is likely one they need to have with someone other than mom or dad. Here are hotlines that are open 24 hours a day and will be there to help your child work through his or her feelings.

Above creating opportunities through their volunteering and mentorship programmes, loveLife offer youth counselling services on a toll-free number. In 2011, loveLife heeded research, which found that over 75% of South Africans above the age of 16 had access to cell phones, and the organisation launched a mobile counselling line. Young people in need of someone to talk to can send a “Please Call me” to the number and a loveLife counsellor will phone them back

Invested in empowering youth a creating a generation that is socially aware and takes care of itself sexually, loveLife counselling lines are a step in the right direction for youth (and parents) looking to make a positive change in their lives. Contact loveLife:

Toll-free Youth Line: 0800 121 900

Toll-free Parent Line: 0800 121 100

“PLZ CAL Me” number (works with Vodacom, Cell C and MTN): 083 323 1023

South African Depression And Anxiety Group (SADAG)
Through Sadag, an organisation that provides mental health support and advocacy, the public can connect with support groups, mental health and wellbeing professionals and they can access a telephonic counselling line.

Options For Recourse
Your child’s matric results are not cast in stone. In fact, he or she has a number of options to pursue if he or she would like to improve on the results.

Supplementary exams
Supplementary exams are where you get a chance to correct your bad matric results and are open to learners who need to rewrite a maximum of two subjects to receive their certificate and learners who couldn’t finish writing their exams due to personal or medical challenges. Learners who have obtained their National Senior Certificate but need to improve their results to gain entry to tertiary education programmes also have the option of rewriting one subject.

As of 2019, the Department of Basic Education is scrapping supplementary exams in favour of a longer programme.

View supplementary exams timetable

Transcript review options
Learners also have the option to have their examination scripts rechecked – where an exams official will check that all sections were marked and marks added correctly – and remarked – where each script is marked again – at their respective school districts. The fees are R19to have each exam script rechecked and R89to have each script remarked per script. Learners from no-fee schools do not have to pay these fees.Applications to have your transcripts reviews close on January 20.

Keeping positive while dealing with disappointment
Sometimes, it’s not failure that will be an obstacle and a source of disappointment. Circumstances beyond your or your child’s control can stand between them and their goals and lead to feelings of failure. Finances are one such obstacle.

While the #FeesMustFall movement was able to secure a no-fee increase in university fees commitment from government, the time where tertiary education will be free in South Africa doesn’t seem to be in sight. If it’s currently financially difficult for your child who has done well at school and wishes to pursue tertiary education to do so, the following resources will help to keep them positive with their goal in mind.

Bursaries South Africa – listings for bursaries and guides for applying.

Student Spaza – listings for bursaries, internships and student jobs.

Student Village –  informative website listing opportunities for students.

loveLife – this organisation’s programmes have, for years, been helping students who are without the means to study or want to take a year or two off before pursuing higher education.

Negative matric results are not the end of the world.

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