News & Editorial

Options for Matrics

Here is some important information and some suggestions for planning a future.

1. I failed one or two subjects. What now?

It’s simple: try again! There is a possibility that a learner who failed some subjects can apply to re-write some examinations. These are called supplementary examinations, giving learners a second chance to try to pass all their exams and obtain their National Senior Certificate.

To write a supplementary exam, a learner must be eligible! Click on the link to the Department of Education’s website to check eligibility, and for all the necessary information, or call them toll-free on 0800 202933.

Supplementary examinations will start on 15 February 2010. The deadline to register for a supplementary examination is 22 January 2010.

2. I failed more than two subjects. What now?

The Second Chance Project run by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) aims to help about 30 000 Matrics who failed more than two subjects in 2009 or 2008. The NYDA will work with the department of basic education, colleges and sector education and training authorities. The project will have a skills programme, and classes begin in March at 58 centres.

The NYDA plans to work on a “first-come-first-served” basis when accepting Matrics into the programme, but can also take a Matric learner’s personal circumstances into account. Call the NYDA call centre as soon as possible on 086 009 6884, or visit the website to find out more.

Matric candidates who have failed more than two subjects can also, of course, apply to schools or to Adult Basic Education and Training Centres in their communities to continue their studies this year.

3. I passed all my subjects, but I cannot get into a university. What now?

Universities are not the only tertiary institutions that offer good qualifications. Matrics can explore their options with Further Education and Training (FET) colleges and universities of technology around the country, in addition to many other private higher education institution and colleges offering hundreds of certificates and diplomas. For the Department of Education’s official register, click here(1).

Matrics can find a list of FET colleges in South Africa on the Department Education’s website, at , and for information on how to apply for a bursary, click here(2).

A successful Matric could also list themselves on a Sectoral Education and Training Association’s (SETA) database of their choice, and in that way they could obtain a learnership in a particular field, and be taught skills in a specific field. You can find a list of the various SETAs in South Africa. This page on the Department of Labour’s website explains how to go about joining a learnership.

4. I passed all my subjects, but I do not have enough money for a tertiary education. What now?

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) seeks to impact on South Africa`s historically skewed student by providing a sustainable financial aid system that enables academically deserving and financially needy students to meet their own and South Africa`s development needs. Matrics can visit their website and find out how to apply for a loan or bursary that will help them to study at a public university, university of technology or FET College.

Another option is the Rural Education Access Programme (REAP). REAP assists students from poor rural communities to access tertiary education by providing student with a support and development programme to enable success with their studies. REAP is not a bursary scheme. It calls on state mechanisms to assist poor students. To find out how REAP assist Matrics from rural and disadvantaged areas, visit their website at


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