#CommitToFinish: no party is worth having to miss your matric exams
Statement by Minister Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education Western Cape
The recent news of a cluster outbreak of Covid-19 related to a bar in the Southern Suburbs has served as an important lesson about the necessity of following the golden rules of preventing Covid-19: physical distancing, washing your hands and wearing masks.
Today marks ten days until the main matric exams begin on 5 November. Ten days is also the minimum amount of time that someone who has been in close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case needs to quarantine. So it is extremely important that our learners are following the preventative measures right now.
According to the exam protocol from the Department of Basic Education, a learner who tests positive for Covid-19 will not be able to write their exams while they are recovering from the illness. They will need to write their exams next year in May/June.
The same goes for learners who have to quarantine because they are a direct contact of a confirmed case – they will not be able to write exams while in quarantine. This means they might not be able to head to university, college or into employment next year, all because they chose to ignore the safety protocols every one of us is supposed to follow.
It is all very well for the WCED to require that schools implement safety protocols at school and during exam sittings, but if learners do not follow these after school, they are putting themselves at unnecessary risk. It is up to learners and their parents to take responsibility for what they do after school.
We understand that learners want to have fun, and we also want to get our economy back on track – but there is a way to do this responsibly so we can all stay safe while moving forward.
I urge parents to have serious conversations with their children about the importance of practicing the Covid-19 prevention measures to keep themselves and others safe, and the immediate impact this can have on their future.
To our matrics: no social event is worth missing your exams. Stay safe and take responsibility for your actions. You will thank yourself later.
Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer
Western Cape Ministry of Education