Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says to ensure that matriculants are not compromised by the late release of the Grade 12 results, Universities South Africa has agreed to extend the academic year to the end of February 2021.

Universities are expected to start their 2021 academic year in March or April next year.

This, Motshekga said, will ensure that students will still be able to get admitted to institutions of higher learning on time.

The Minister said this when Ministers in the Social Services Cluster responded to oral questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“On 24 August this year, our Director-General [Mathanzima] Mweli met with Universities South Africa, which is the body that regulates admissions to higher education institutions, and they indicated that universities will be extending the 2020 academic year to the end of February next year.

“So while the opening of universities is not universal, we are certain that when we issue [matric] results on 23 February next year, we will not be disadvantaged learners because most universities will start their 2021 academic year in March or April next year,” she said.

This comes after the department announced last month that the 2020 Grade 12 examinations would be completed by 15 December, with marking being concluded on 22 January and the results released on 23 February 2021.

The new school year will commence on 25 January 2021 for teachers and learners a few days later.

Support for matriculants doing home schooling

Motshekga said, meanwhile, that matriculants who are doing home schooling are receiving the necessary support.

“There is support for self-directed lesson plans, which are accompanied by study guides and revision.

“We also provide them with work sheets that enable them to revise. We give them recorded lessons. We also launched a very good programme last week, which we call Woza Matric, which is recorded lessons that are online and also on different stations.”

The Minister said the department is also using the media.

“We help them to form study groups via additional printed material and online support, but we also find that different schools and different provinces go out of their way to assist them.”

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