The 2020 Academic Year Can Still Be Salvaged for Matriculant's

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A lot of students might be asking themselves, where is my life headed at this point?
matric exams and university applications
Worried about final matric exams? You still have time.

We can all agree that the academic year of 2020 is not like the one's we have experienced in the past. Most grade 12 learners had set short and medium term goals, to name a few: getting outstanding grades and getting enrolled in tertiary institutions. To be fair the year 2020 started off normally,Some students were excited to be leaving for University and others were excited and eager to be doing their Grade 12 year so that they can finally complete 12 years of basic education.

No one could have predicted that South Africa (and other countries) would be forced to go under a Nation wide lockdown because a virus (Covid-19/Corona Virus). By now I'm sure you're well educated on Covid-19 and you have been brought up to date on what this virus is all about. 

The impact of this virus led the government (department of education) into deciding to shut down the Education sector for the protection of students and workers. Grade 12 learners closed schools on the 18th of March 2020 ( which was the end of term 1) and only opened on the 8th of June 2020 (which was the beginning of term 2). 

During this period ,they were expected to do Online learning (bare in mind that they went from attending lessons on weekdays on school premises to being told to communicate with teachers through social media platforms, which are of course costly) and to listen in on radio broadcasts on/about the different subjects that are offered ,for example, Life sciences,Mathematics,Accounting,Physical science,Tourism etc. 

Although these radio broadcasts (lessons) proved to be helpful to some, many students faced challenges such as : faulty network connections,the lack of accessibility and misunderstandings. For some, online learning was a success. They were able to navigate their way around it,whilst for others, online learning was a difficult challenge and others didn't even try this new way of learning. Matriculants of 2020 also known as "M'20" had began the 2020 academic year with high hopes and drive. 

I think it's fair to say that the challenges they faced being: Pressure, stress, lack of resources, lack of knowledge etc might have demotivated the formerly eager students. Their goals could have possibly shifted from "Outstanding grades" to "Adequate grades". But here is the...good news(depends on how you take it), the 2020 June exams have been annulled which could possibly give the students time and direction, they can now put their undivided attention to working towards getting those "Outstanding Grades" on their September Trails and on their final examination (NSC) which were earlier set to begin on the 19th of October 2020 till the 26th of November 2020. (Dates might have changed).

New school terms

Term 1: 15 January -18 March 
Term 2: 08 June - 07 August 
Term 3: 12 August - 23 September 
Term 4: 05 October -15 December 

On the other side, Majority of the South African tertiary institutions have long opened their Application portals (opened from April onwards). Despite everything, going to University is a good opportunity to develop one's self. University is considered to be where individuals 'Find themselves' and begin their lives in the 'big world'. 

A High school teacher said, "should everything go as planned, University Registrations will take place at the month of March 2021." This means that there is still hope of successfully finishing High school and being successfully admitted into University. 

If you haven't applied yet, you still have the chance to as most university applications close around  September to October excluding Bsc degree applications (these close earlier). Do remember, the early bird catches the worm. 

Here are some universities that are open for applications  and online applications are free of charge:

•North west university 
•University of Western Cape
•University of Johannesburg 
•Central University of Technology 
•University of Free state
•University of Limpopo
•Nelson Mandela University 

Other Universities that are open for applications:

•Rhodes University (R100 application fee)
•University of Cape Town (R100 application fee)
•University of stellenbosch (R100 application fee)
•University of Pretoria (R300 application fee)
•University of Witswatersrand (R100 application fee)
•Sol plaatje University (R100 application fee)
•The Central Applications office is also open. (R100 application fee)

Here Below are links to the websites of Universities (tertiary institutions) in South Africa: 

1. Wits
2. Fort Hare
3. Tshwane University
4. UJ
5. UWC
7. UCT
9. DUT
10. Rhodes University
11. WSU
12. Nelson Mandela Metropolitian University
13. Central University of Technology
14. University of the Free State
15. University of Pretoria
16. University of South Africa
17. Vaal University of Technology
18. University of Limpopo
19. Mangosuthu University of Technology
20. University of Zululand
21. University of Venda
22. NWU
23. University of Stellenbosch
24. Sol Plaaatje University
25. University of Mpumalanga

To apply for NSFAS(Student funding) go to

Also here is a link for 2021 bursary applications:

Even though there were a lot of setbacks, Grade 12 students can choose to focus on the positive. Instead of being pessimistic about limited time and fear of failure, choose to be optimistic. View the 12 weeks you spent on lockdown as a much needed reboot. There's not much time till the NSC examinations begin, a positive attitude and hard work will get you your "Outstanding Grades". It's not impossible and it's not too late to start working towards it. 

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one." -Elbert Hubbard.

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