One step forward, one step back – EE

Organisation says Covid threatens an already fragile education system

Equal Education (EE) media statement: One step forward, one step back: COVID-19 threatens an already fragile education system

22 February 2021

“My expectation with my matric results is to pass with good marks… It [the matric year] was affected so badly [by COVID-19] that at times we couldn't cope. We had to cover the whole year syllabus in months not only just finishing it but with a mandate of understanding every information given to us… What kept me going is the support our teachers gave us, the support my peers gave me… Also harsh reality hit us that we do not have a choice, we were never given a choice but to push through tough times.” - Yolanda Magugu, EE member, matric class of 2020, Gauteng

“COVID-19 took precious time away from us… I had to try and adjust to the new normal which came with most of us being mentally affected and led to other sickness such as your everyday headaches and losing interest in almost everything.” - Lawrence Manaka, EE member, matric class of 2020, Gauteng

“We tried our best under the circumstances of COVID-19. The support from parents and teachers, motivating us about going to school even if things are no longer the same, and we did. So they really helped us push and study.” - SphamandlaQwabaza, EE member, matric class of 2020, Eastern Cape

Equal Education (EE) salutes you, matric class of 2020, as you await the release of your results tomorrow. In your final year of school you unfairly faced many difficulties, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. You lost a significant amount of teaching time when your schools were closed, while also having to cover the full curriculum. Food insecurity and health anxieties grew in your communities, and as last year came to a close, the leaking of the maths paper two and physical sciences paper two exam questions was yet another hurdle to overcome. We welcome and are relieved by Umalusi’s decision to approve the 2020 matric results, because the integrity of the National Senior Certificate had not been significantly impacted. 

We applaud the effort and time invested by teachers, parents/guardians, and education officials to support learners during this unprecedented moment. 

Issued by Jay-Dee Cyster, Communications Officer, Equal Education, 22 February 2021