'As a matric student, I am very worried about this year'

Schools are closed again, as a government response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and while parents are vocal on the issue, we haven't heard enough from the pupils themselves.

This highschooler wrote to Parent24 to share their thoughts on the 2020 matric year, so we are sharing it here.


Dear Parent24,

I have a strong opinion on the closure of schools. As a matric student, I am very worried about this year.

There are portfolio assessments we have to write in person to write our final exams. If schools close, then we will not be able to do that. I think the unions are being very unfair and are not thinking about how matrics are being affected.

Many students’ mental health is suffering because of all the anxiety. Matric is a very stressful year and knowing that our future is in the hands of others makes the stress much worse.

We know that there are parents who are afraid of the virus, but it will not be going anywhere anytime soon. It is here to stay.

There are options to home school children and take them out of school until next year.

It should be up to the parents independently and not affect the children who need to go back to school and the parents that cannot provide somebody to babysit their children.

As long as we take the precautions to prevent the spread at schools, we should be fine.

School is not the only place where you catch the virus, supermarkets and hospitals are a much more dangerous place. Some parents and children are willing to risk going back to school because they want routine.

Children who rely on feeling programs at school will no longer get the nutrition they need. They will roam around the streets unsupervised and at risk of catching the virus instead of being at a relatively safe place.

Children are at risk of domestic abuse at home.

Many children do not have access to online facilities to catch up on the work. If they let schools close, children are at a greater risk physically and psychologically.

It should not be one decision, but a choice among each parent and child individually.

Thank you,

An anxious 2020 matric student

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