If you think that you’re too old to get an education, think again. And yes, we are about to tell you why.
The Typical Story
The script for the journey from birth to death is simple (or so we’ve been made to believe). Here’s how it plays out: we are born. We have a few years of a childhood in which we play and learn. We grow into adolescence. Get our matric. We grow into early adulthood and get a degree. Grow into mature adulthood and do post-graduate qualifications. We get a job. Get married. Then, get a house. Have children. Grow old. Retire. Then eventually – die.
Life Isn’t a Scripted Movie
It’s more like an Improvised Comedy Show.
Ever been to one of those “improv” comedy shows where the host starts by announcing, “what is about to happen on this stage is a surprise – even to us”?
Well, life is a lot like that. Our dedication to ‘The Script’ doesn’t guarantee us a life that happens the way we think it should. Sometimes life throws you a couple of unexpected twists and turns. That’s when you find that, just like everyone else on this ride called ‘Life’, your journey is full of the unexpected.
I didn’t get a Matric – Did I Blow It?
The answer is: “No – you haven’t blown it”.
Somewhere along the line, you may have missed the opportunity to obtain a matric certificate. Now, you feel like the order for ‘The Script’ is all wrong.
We are here to tell you there’s still a chance for you to get your matric. Keep reading because we are about to lay out your options.
Adult Basic Education Training (ABET)
An ABET Level Four certificate is the equivalent of grade 9. In the past, this was referred to as “form 2” or “standard 7”. For adults who have families to care for and jobs during the day, night classes are available at some ABET-approved centres. A list of ABET centres can be found here.
There are also ABET classes which are hosted at primary schools after hours.
Since ABET is aimed at bridging the gap for those who have not had a lot of formal schooling, there are no qualifying requirements to guarantee you a spot in an ABET programme. You only need to find an accredited learning centre.
Amended Senior Certificate (ASC)
If you would like to obtain a matric certificate after completing ABET Level Four (grade 9), you will have to enrol for a Senior Certificate. This allows you to obtain a matric equivalent. In order to qualify for this, adult learners who are 21 years and older must have passed all the required Senior Certificate subjects. They also must have met the correct criteria, which according to the Department of Basic Education are:
1. A General Education and Training Certificate (GETC) OR a Grade 9 school report stating that they have passed Grade 9 (Standard 7), OR a recognized equivalent qualification obtained at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level which requires two official languages
2. An incomplete Senior Certificate qualification
3. An incomplete National Senior Certificate and a School-Based Assessment (SBA) which has expired
These conditions are also relevant for those who would like to rewrite a matric qualification that they obtained under the old syllabus.
To register for the exams, qualifying adults will need to register at any education district office.
There is no such thing as too late! Although the ASC is not currently accepted for university admission, it does open more doors for you than would be possible without it. Reach for the stars!