It is all systems go for scores of Grade 12 learners who will start their IEB matric exams today, Wednesday, 20 October 2021. Distance Education Provider, Brainline, says hundreds of their pupils will once again participate in this year’s examination, which is quality assured by Umalusi, the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education. Brainline CEO, Coleen Cronje, says learners will write exams at Brainline centres in three provinces.
‘The National Senior Certificate examination will commence at Brainline branches in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape from the 18th of October with Computer Applications Technology: Paper1 and Dramatic Arts. They will end on 2 December with Natural Sciences Paper 2. Our hearts and minds are with our matriculants and we wish them all the best,’ she says.
Cronje says Brainline is confident about the preparation period given to their Grade 12 learners as the online school did not have to deal with school closures amid the Covid-19 pandemic and could continue uninterrupted.
‘As a fully operational online and virtual school, we did not feel the brunt of the lockdown and subsequent school closures, as was the case with the majority of schools around the country. Our Grade 12 students had a full academic year and we are grateful that their studies were not disrupted. Students were able to attend weekly online classes, presented by qualified teachers and they had sufficient time to prepare for their final exams,’ she says.
As with final matric exams written by learners within the public school system, IEB-learners will also write exams in the following subjects; Afrikaans Home Language, English First Additional Language, English Home Language, Afrikaans First Additional Language, Accounting, Agricultural Sciences, Business Studies, Computer Applications Technology, Consumer Studies, Dramatic Arts, Economics, Engineering Graphics and Design, Equine Studies, Geography, History, Life Orientation, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Music, Physical Sciences, Tourism and Visual Arts. Cronje says their students have received optimal support.
‘In the world of the digital school, learners can feel lost without guidance and a tutor. With our online live classes, which are saved for future reference, we address that need for the distance learner. Gone are the days of the old model learner management systems with boring downloads and links. This is the new era of a school at home, with all the support that one can expect in a traditional school, but on your own terms.’
The IEB National Senior Certificate is an internationally benchmarked qualification and is equivalent to Cambridge AS level. Cronje says their matriculants come from all over South Africa and other parts of the world.
‘Our students are South Africans that are spread globally in countries such as Botswana, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Namibia, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Philippines, Malaysia, Spain, New Zealand, Germany, India and more.’
Cronje says accommodations for special needs learners offers support to learners who require additional support due to barriers to learning.
‘We assist learners and their families with the application, communicating with the IEB on their behalf, and providing the necessary facilities during the final matric exams. According to the accommodation granted to them, it may range from separate venues to readers and scribes or as technology assists us, the use of a digital C-pen for audible translation of the written word.’
Meanwhile, Brainline Mentor, Liezel Bruwer, has stressed the importance of providing Grade 12 students with adequate support to cope during this very stressful period.
‘Exam stress often stems from the fear of failure, however, there are ways to cope with this kind of pressure. It is important that teachers, parents and the students themselves ensure that they are equipped to deal with the stress over the next few weeks,’ Bruwer explains.
Bruwer says there are very practical solutions to deal with exams stress. The first is to remember how important it is to nourish your body and mind to ensure that students’ study optimally. She says poor nutrition can lead to trouble sleeping, poor memory and difficulty solving problems.
Bruwer has provided a number of tips that can assist learners through the next few weeks:
Brainline is IEB recognised, which means that learners follow the South African National Curriculum (similar to the curriculum offered in South African schools) resulting in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) upon successful completion of their matric exams.