President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended his best wishes, on behalf of all South Africans, to the Class of 2021 who start the National Senior Certificate matric exams on Wednesday.
Ramaphosa said on a statement on Tuesday night that the nation could be proud of the determination, focus and sacrifice with which learners had braved the 2021 academic year in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic with its impact on school life, home life, social interaction and society as a whole. He also paid tribute to parents and educators who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic but were resolute in helping learners cross the schooling finish line.
“We are immensely proud of the nearly 900 000 candidates who will be sitting for the National Senior Certificate examination, which is a significant personal milestone as well as an important marker for the future of our nation,” Ramaphosa said.
“We are deeply indebted to families, educators and school governing bodies who made it possible for learners to make it to these examinations by introducing innovative means for learners to complete their curriculum. The Grade 11s of 2020 persisted with their studies in a year in which COVID-19 arrived on our shores, with its devastating impact on our physical and psychological wellbeing,” he said.
“This year we place our arms of support around the Class of 2021 who have persevered and endured in their effort to create a better future for themselves, their families and our economy. We wish you the best of success in your final revision and in your examinations, which will lay the foundations for your life as independent, adult members of our society.”
Ramaphosa called on learners to adhere to COVID-19 safety regulations throughout the examination period and in the celebrations beyond, and called on learners to present themselves to take the COVID-19 vaccination free of charge.
He also urged learners who may experience anxiety at this time to reach out to parents, educators, counsellors or helplines to discuss their difficulties and find the necessary motivation to complete their school career successfully.