Last push ahead of the 2020 NSC Examinations


The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lock-down has disrupted the lives of learners in different ways, not only on a personal level, but also the extent to which they have completed the curriculum of the grade they find themselves in at school.  The level to which the curriculum and also the point they have reached in terms of their learning programmes for the 2020 school academic year have been severely compromised. The learners coming to the end of one phase of their education and moving on to another, such as those transitioning from school to tertiary education, face particular challenges. These learners need focused support to enable them to complete their school curriculum and assessment successfully, if they are to comply with admission criteria of higher education and other institutions, as well as being successful in the 2020 National Senior Certificate Examination.


After weeks and months at home, learners lost their teachers’ face-to-face support and the habits which schools taught them. Learning gaps have undoubtedly increased between children from poorer and better-off homes. A few learners in the Northern Cape have general access to connectivity and e-learning resources which would have resulted in some having limited access to resources provided during the lock-down.


In order to respond to educational gaps created by the lock-down, the Department needed to package additional resources and programmes to support learners. Schools, teachers, and learners also looked for flexible ways to repair the damage caused by COVID-19 interruptions to learning and curriculum trajectories. These include among others, assistance from mental health (Psycho-Social support) specialists, radio programmes, e-learning platforms, learning support to teachers to help the weakest learners and the most vulnerable learners to catch-up and weekend classes to support learners in a controlled environment. The Department is mindful that a blended teaching and learning approach is best suited to make quick gains in a short-term.  To this extent, the Department has developed our matric intervention support programmes which will unfold in all five Districts.


The Department's last push activities will include the following:

- Weekend Lock-in Sessions;

- Saturday Classes and;

- Spring Schools.


We are targeting close to 8000 Grade 12 learners which will benefit from the intervention programmes until they sit for the 2020 National Senior Certificate Examinations. The matric intervention programmes will be district specific, targeting high enrollment and problematic subjects. We have put in place all precautionary measures to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations and guidelines.


We have established 24 Spring School Centres and 25 School-Based Walk-in Centres which will commence from 23 October to 1 November 2020 in all the Districts. The educators are carefully selected by the Department of Education and are experts in their relevant fields.


The Spring Schools will specifically focus on the following:

·  Intense and rigorous revision and consolidation of problematic content;

·  Strengthening of answering techniques;

·  Analysis of structured questions;

·  Improve learners’ ability to manage time effectively during assessment;

·  Upliftment of learner self-esteem and confidence; and

·  Main aim is to effect level progression in performance through revision and consolidation.


What is expected of learners:

·  Disciplined behaviour to be displayed at all times;

·  Show respect for tutors, fellow-learners, supervisors and admin staff;

·  Be punctual for all classes;

·  Show total obedience for rules;

·  Be mindful that you are a visitor to the centre and thus be respectful toward property;

·  Complete all take-home exercises;

·  Engage robustly in discussions in class;

·  Adhere to the no-tolerance for substance use/abuse.


What is expected of parents:

·  Ensure that learners at walk-in centres attend daily and are punctual;

·  Ensure that learners complete take-home exercises;

·  Minimise household chores to afford learners opportunity to complete take-home exercises;

·  Motivate learners.


What is expected of Educators:

·  Be punctual for all classes;

·  Be well prepared;

·  Encourage and mediate lively discussion;

·  Adhere to Daily Revision/Tutoring Plan;

·  Be mindful of differentiation;

·  Ensure learners complete all take-home exercises;

·  Discuss answers to all questions in tutorials;

·  Enforce discipline in class;

·  Refrain from discouraging learners through negative remarks.

The Department of Education is doing all it can to ensure an improved learner performance across all grades. It is now up to the learners to relate what they have learnt (on the answer sheets during the examinations )and deliver on our expectations. The Department strongly appeals to parents and all school communities to continue to support their children and create a conducive environment at home to study. The active participation and involvement of parents in their children's education is crucial, especially during this time of the year.  


All our efforts are geared towards saving the school academic year and therefore would like to appeal to parents and learners to take full advantage of this opportunity to send their child to attend the intervention programmes. Learners will receive the best possible support and guidance during these sessions as they prepare for their final examination. We will monitor the progress of all our intervention programmes very closely to ensure that the desired impacts are made through teaching, learning and assessments.