Youth In South Africa Seek Senior Certificates

A Policy Analyst at Youth Capital discusses a research paper about a quarter of a million young people working towards a national senior certificate. The research paper was written by Youth Capital and Stellenbosch University's Research on Social and Economic Policy.



About a quarter of a million young people in South Africa are working towards a matric certificate outside of the full-time schooling system, however, they are unaccounted for, according to the research paper.

The research paper gives insights into why these resilient young people need to be acknowledged and supported.

Before COVID-19, approximately 300 000 young people left the schooling system each year and mainly between Grade 10 and 12.

These students leave school without any formal qualifications to show for their efforts.

According to Mario Meyer, tracking individual learners over time is important since the education system in the country believes that certification matters.

Youth often drop out of school without obtaining their matric certificates and the research revealed that about 50% of young people who start school, leave without matric certificates.

Having a matric certificate means that young people have a greater chance of receiving further education and training opportunities and makes them more likely to be in sustainable employment.

Meyer believes that the country is losing out a lot of the productive potential of many young people since many young people are left out of the system.

Currently, more than 8.8 million young people are not in education, employment, or trading, which is why providing these young people with an opportunity to get back on track is so important.

The Second Chance Matric Program is meant to provide a second chance pathway for those young people who were not successful in their first attempt at schooling for whatever reason.

The report is a review of the Second Chance Matric Program which found that the key support that young people need, who are navigating through the program, is how to navigate information in the system.

These students need help with knowing when to register, what is needed to register, which subjects to register for, and where to get preparation material, as it can be quite difficult for them to do on their own.


Employers look for applicants with a matric certificate as it signals the competencies and skills of the person.

Many tertiary institutions also look for students to provide a matric certificate to gain acceptance into their academic courses.

Meyer stated that young people need to be provided with opportunities to receive their matric certificate.

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