The programme was launched on Wednesday at Ivory Park Secondary School in Tembisa, Johannesburg.
“The Programme is intended to provide support to learners who have not been able to meet the requirements of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) and thereby meeting the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP) by increasing learner retention.
“The categories of learners who will be covered are those learners who qualify to write Supplementary Examinations for a maximum of two subjects, progressed learners who pursue multiple opportunities to complete the NSC, and learners who failed to meet the requirements of the NSC in 2015,” said the Minister.
She said the NSC Learner Retention Programme (Second Chance Programme) provides support for candidates writing the supplementary examinations and the Modularised NSC Writing Option in February/March and June 2016 respectively.
Minister Motshekga said the planning for Phase three of the programme, which entails support for candidates who did not meet all the requirements for the NSC post 2008, is yet to be conducted this year.
“Planning will also be conducted for learners with disability that require support to meet NSC requirements from 2017 onwards,” the Minister said.
She said through the up-scaling of such second chance programmes, young South Africans will be integrated back into the education system to ensure they receive a second chance at being adequately qualified before entering the job market.
The Minister said local research suggests that 38 per cent of those with matric as their highest qualification are employed, while 54 per cent of those with an education level less than matric are unemployed.
“Thus the higher your qualification the less likely you are to be unemployed,” said the Minister.
She said there are more benefits to the country at large to have its citizens adequately educated.
Minister Motshekga said the project will focus on support for three phases.
Firstly, it supports learners who qualify to write the supplementary examinations to be piloted in 2016 in seven subjects with a high failure rate, and in districts with large numbers of prospective learners from examinations written in February/March.
Secondly, it supports progressed learners sitting for the Modularised Writing option for NSC which will be implemented annually from 2016 for examinations written in June.
And lastly, it supports learners who failed to meet the NSC requirements which will be planned for in 2016 and rolled out in 2017.
Second Chance learner profile
The Minister said the targeted learners will not be in school and their profile should be considered in providing a support package.
“The package will therefore be a blended approach which will cater for the various learners’ needs,” said the Minister.
The profile of the second chance learner should either be adult learner, employed, unemployed and no funds to travel, time constraints, not available during schooling hours, access to internet, low self-esteem, little or no parental support, and/or requires advice on career pathing.