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Matric pupil relieved to go back to school, despite concerns over COVID-19

Schools have been closed for weeks now and matrics especially have been anxiously trying to keep up with the syllabus.

Matric pupil Emile van Rooyen is keen to get back to school on 1 June. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Education authorities are hard at work getting ready for matrics and grade 7s to head back to school.

Schools have been closed for weeks now and matrics especially have been anxiously trying to keep up with the syllabus.

They'll finally get to go back to school on 1 June and see their teachers again.

“They send the work on WhatsApp, they say we must go on the internet, but I don't have data. They also send videos that take a lot of data, so I don't want to open it. My parents are unemployed.”

This is the experience of matric pupil Emile van Rooyen who lives in Delft.

He said it had been a tough few weeks of self-study under lockdown.

Van Rooyen said he was stressed about many things, from the volume of work he has to get through, to understanding the new material as well as running out of data.

He said it was easy to lose hope when you didn't have a teacher on hand to encourage you.

He added that reading and zooming on a small mobile phone was challenging, but he's figured out workarounds for many things, including getting his material printed.

“I send it to my sister, she doesn't live here, she lives in Blackheath, I tell her to print out this, and when she comes here, please bring it. I want to look at the pages and understand.”

Van Rooyen admitted he was nervous about going back to school because of COVID-19 but he needed help and the kind of help he could only get at school.

“I want to go to back to school. I want my teacher to explain things to me. This is not what I expected, but what can I do, it's part of life and I work hard and study hard.”

He will be one of thousands of matrics who head back to school on 1 June.