To ensure that matriculants are not negatively impacted by the stalling of their schooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Universities South Africa has agreed to extend the academic year to the end of February 2021. This will also negate the negative impact of receiving late results, as matriculants embark on applying to universities.
According to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshegka, this will ensure that students are admitted to tertiary institutions on time. Thus, universities will begin their 2021 academic year in March or April.
“On August 24 this year, our Director-General (Mathanzima) Mweli met with Universities South Africa, which is the body that regulates admissions to higher education institutions, and they indicated that universities will be extending the 2020 academic year to the end of February next year,” the Minister said, as reported by BusinessTech.
“So while the opening of universities is not universal, we are certain that when we issue (matric) results on February 23 next year, we will not be disadvantaging learners because most universities will start their 2021 academic year in March or April next year.”
Motshegka added that matriculants who are being homeschooled will continue to receive the necessary support. “There is support for self-directed lesson plans, which are accompanied by study guides and revision,” she said. “We also provide them with worksheets that enable them to revise. We give them recorded lessons. We also launched a very good programme last week, which we call Woza Matric, which is recorded lessons that are online and also on different stations.”
“We help them to form study groups via additional printed material and online support, but we also find that different schools and different provinces go out of their way to assist them.”