Education students from the Stellenbosch University (SU) have recently released a Matric Survival Guide with tips and guidance to assist the class of 2020. Earlier during the lockdown period Die Matie reported on the Beyond Education Program that put together activity packs to provide gr R–9 learners with academic tasks during lockdown. This initiative forms part of the Social Impact Portfolio of the Faculty's Education Student Committee (ESC).
This group of students intended on visiting matriculants at the start of the new term to provide them with the necessary support and motivation for the rest of the school year. However, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented this from happening and the team had to rethink their ways of reaching out to learners. According to Marcel Adams, founder of this initiative, the students started brainstorming ideas to help matriculants as soon as the first set of acitivity packs was released. This is when they came to the idea to not only create something for the school they intended on visiting, but something that would benefit learners all over the country.
Adams explains, “The main focus of this project is to create awareness among matriculants about the available support. We were all once in matric and understand the stress that comes with it. That is why we decided to support them, even if it had to be online."
The Matric Survival Guide reached three provinces within the first three weeks of its release, including the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape. The guide is available to download for free on the ESC's Facebook Page and has been shared across the social media pages of many high schools and non-governmental organisations. The PDF format makes it easy for the guide to be sent via WhatsApp and social media in order to make it accessable to all matriculants.
In this guide they will mostly find tips and tricks on how to survive the matric year. Dr Lynne Damons, educational psychologist at SU's Faculty of Education, shared a few critical tips about the importance of maintaining good mental health during this time.
“Our mental health greatly influences the way we think, feel and react to situations. It also determines how we handle stress, how we communicate with others and how make decisions. Therefore, we have to look after our mental health and reach out to others when we struggle", says Dr Damons.
She also mentions that this initiative is a big asset to the Faculty of Education, the University and the communities who benefit from it. “The way in which it is compiled and the way language is used, make the guide extremely accessible for everyone. The fact that is consists of easy tips and experiences from our students, who were in the learners' positions not long ago, makes it so much more friendly and enjoyable to use."
Alice White, a second year education student at SU, is one of the students who shares her experience in this guide. She believes it is of the utmost importance to share her experience in order to ensure the class of 2020 that anything is possible, despite our circumstances.
“I had to share my story as I am not often seen as an academic. I want to show the class of 2020 that everything is possible if you have the right mindset. You can be successful if you give your best, but also look after yourself, stay calm and achieve your goals."
White believes this initiative is “a fantastic idea to help and support matriculants in order for them to manage academically, mentally and emotionally. This way they will be able to further their studies in 2021 at the university of their choice."
THE MATRIC SURVIVAL GUIDE PDF
Original article source: Die Matie
Translated by Elise Groeneveld