‘Bad matric results not the end of the road’

Photo: stoogle.co.za
Photo: stoogle.co.za

Many thousands of Grade 12 pupils from the Class of 2015 will this week have to face the reality that things have not worked out the way they wanted them to in terms of their results.

With this disappointment will come the disarray of having to review their plans for 2016, an education expert says.

The most important thing to realise at this stage – even though it may be tough to stand up and face these choices – is that bad results are not the end of the road and that there are still many options to get back on track.

Below par matric results do not mean you have to give up on your dreams and aspirations,” says Dr Felicity Coughlan, Director of The Independent Institute of Education, SA’s largest private higher education institution.

“In fact, if handled maturely and pragmatically, a disappointing performance could be just the catalyst needed to propel a pupil in a new and better direction with more determination and resolve than before. As the saying goes, one should never let a good crisis go to waste,” she says.

Coughlan says parents, guardians and other caregivers should ensure they positively support pupils during this difficult time as they may be facing a number of concerns, such as not being able to get into the higher education institution they expected, having to choose a different course, having to write supplementary exams or even having to repeat the year.

Many also have the emotional struggle with having disappointed themselves and others.

“There are still many options available, but it is imperative that proper research into all these options be conducted,” she says.

“These include options in the public and private sector, different degrees or diplomas, a higher certificate instead of a degree as a stepping stone, volunteer work opportunities or part-time study, second semester registrations, supplementary exams or redoing the school year in a more supportive environment.

First, adults should assist disappointed pupils to get the poor results into perspective.

“This is often best done by plotting all the options that are still available and weighing them up against each other,” says Coughlan.

“It is easier to feel better in the face of real choices than to be told to feel better without any sense of options. Facts help to reintroduce a sense of control over one’s fate and the path is then cleared for choosing the best possible way forward,” she says.

Coughlan suggests that parents and caregivers (and students) who suspect that things are not going to turn out as well as hoped begin to look for options now so that if the disappointment does happen, options can be put on the table sooner rather than later.

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