By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published 13m ago

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FOR MANY matriculants, the anticipation is over, they have received their final school marks in black and white.

This can be a exciting moment, but it can spiral some young South Africans, and their families, into despair and crisis.

Some pupils will not have passed as well as they had hoped, or may have failed. Others may have to rewrite certain exams or repeat the year.

According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag), almost one in 10 teen deaths in South Africa are caused by suicide, in that number is also teens who could not deal with exam disappointment.

If you have failed, Sadag recommends that you speak to your principal immediately and see what options are open to you.

A re-mark or a supplementary exam may be worthwhile options if you have failed only a few subjects.

“It’s important if you are feeling depressed that you speak to someone,” the group said.

Sadag also notes that attention should be given to another group of pupils who are also at risk: the so-called “straight-A kids” expected to get multiple distinctions.

High achievement is often linked to self esteem, and teens who don’t do as well as expected may plunge into depression.

Failing does not mean the end to a teenager’s future before it has begun, there are options for learners to still reach their full potential and succeed in life.

The Department of Basic Education’s Second Chance Matric Support Programme gives you the opportunity to achieve or improve a matric qualification.

The options open to learners who failed, but who are determined to earn their National Senior Certificate, include:

  • Sitting for the supplementary examinations.
  • Returning to school and re-registering for matric.
  • Registering at another school to complete matric.
  • Completing matric via distance learning.

Anyone feeling overly anxious or desperate is encouraged to call the line.

“We are here to help learners and their parents with the stress. I have always believed that failure need not be the end of the world; it can be an incredible opportunity for learning and growth, Unfortunately we cannot help with studies or educational problems” says Cassey Amoore, Sadag Counselling Services Manager.

Depressed pupils can contact the toll-free Sadag Suicide Crisis Helpline at 0800 567 567.

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