Despite challenges, matrics get ready to sit for final exams – EWN

It’s been a disruptive year for the class of 2022, which has had to deal with relentless power cuts and the frustrating aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdown.
JOHANNESBURG – Matrics around the country are writing the first of their final exams and many say the stress is setting in.
Close to 200,000 pupils are registered to sit for their final exams at over 6,000 writing centres from Monday.
It’s been a disruptive year for the class of 2022, which has had to deal with relentless power cuts and the frustrating aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Having had to adapt to new ways of learning against the backdrop of an electricity crisis, matric pupils in Gauteng have told Eyewitness News that they’ve pushed ahead despite the mounting challenges.
it’s a weekday afternoon in Sebokeng Zone 10, when the home-time bell rings at Thuto-Tiro Comprehensive School.
As pupils linger outside the school gates, 17-year-old matriculant Mokati Molala hastily makes his way home.
He tells Eyewitness News that he has a tight schedule as he has to start dinner and get as much studying done as he can before load shedding hits at 4pm.
"I study at night and that’s when the power cuts [happen]. I can’t study in the afternoon because we knock off late sometimes."
Once the power goes, Molala, like thousands of South African pupils, relies on torches and candlelight to prepare for his national senior certificate exams.
Eskom has indicated that it cannot exempt schools from load shedding, as it would put the entire grid at risk. However, it says it will try and mitigate the rolling power outages as best it can.
But the challenges for the matric class of 2022 don’t stop there – 18-year-old Diamond Miya says this will be the first finals to be written since the lockdown was lifted.
She says her classmates are still navigating the impact of those disruptions.
"COVID-19 really did impact us negatively. When you’re at home, I’m not going to lie and say that I tried to learn. What really helped us prepare were the walk-in programmes and having extra time with the teachers."
The Department of Basic Education says that despite collaboration with Eskom, if all else fails, there will be opportunities for candidates to rewrite a matric exam they missed because of load shedding.

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