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With matric exams to start today, Sadtu worried about COVID-19 effects on pupils

With South Africa among the most unequal societies in the world, Sadtu is worried that pupils from low-income households have not been adequately equipped to deal with the challenges of COVID-19 ahead of this year's exams.

FILE: Matric pupils writing exams. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - With matrics due to sit for their first final-year exam on Thursday, there are still worries that pupils have not been given an equal chance to succeed given the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown.

More than one million candidates are set to sit for their final exams this year and the Basic Education Department said that it was confident that they would do well.

But teachers' union Sadtu is worried that schools in the country's far-flung communities were facing an uphill battle.

It is an all too common tale of the differences between "the haves" and "the have nots".

With South Africa among the most unequal societies in the world, Sadtu is worried that pupils from low-income households have not been adequately equipped to deal with the challenges of COVID-19 ahead of this year's exams.

The union's Nkosana Dolopi: "Those who can afford to can always send their children to the best schools, well-resourced schools with enough teachers, laboratories, libraries and so forth.

Dolopi said that while challenges were not new, they had been worsened by the pandemic.

"Some of the more serious schools still don't have water. If you look at the school structures, they're dilapidated, you can't even call them schools."

Matrics are set to kick off this year's exams by writing the English First Additional Language paper today.

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