Matric remark earns matriculant another distinction

Moideen siblings, pictured at the back, from left, are UWC Bachelor of Nursing student Haneefa, Bachelor of Science student Muhammad Idrees, and Madina Institute Cape Town Islamic studies and Arabic degree student Abdur-Raheem. In front are Rylands Primary School Grade 6 pupil Fatima, her sister Rylands High School Grade 11 pupil Torheera, and matriculant Dilshaad.

When a Tafelsig teen had his matric English and physical science examination scripts remarked, he gained a fifth distinction.

Muhammad Idrees Moideen, 18, who completed his national senior certificate (NSC) at Rylands High School last year, successfully had his percentage for English home language bumped up to 81% and his physical science mark to 60%.

He already had distinctions in Afrikaans first additional language, life orientation, geography and life sciences.

Muhammad Idrees is now working towards a Bachelor of Science (BSc) Degree in biotechnology at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

He is the brother to five siblings and is the third child of Rushaan and Ahmed Jaleel Moideen, all of whom moved from Rylands to Tafelsig more than two years ago.

Muhammad Idrees said last year had been a tough academic year, because of the national Covid-19 lockdown and that they had had to cram Grade 11 work into their final school year.

“We did not complete our Grade 11 work the year before. There was no time for revision and teachers could not help with everything,” he said.

On receipt of his results earlier this year, a teacher had advised him to have his scripts remarked.

At the time he did not know what he planned to do for the 2022 academic year and sat down with his dad to review his options. He decided on a four-year degree course.

“UWC was not my first choice and, in fact BSc, was not my first choice either. I applied for engineering at UCT (University of Cape Town),” he said.

He added that the transition from pupil to student has not been easy.

“At school you have teachers looking out for you and encouraging you to do things.

“University is all about you. Lecturers are not like teachers to push you.“

Muhammad Idrees said the distance between his home and university was challenging because if he missed the bus then he would have to wait for an hour or more for the next one.

He encouraged his peers and future matriculants to do what they needed to do to achieve their goals.

“If it is what you want then do what you must to pull out all of the stops,” he said.

Muhammad Idrees said his living environment did not determine his academic achievement but rather his hard work and determination to succeed.

His older sister Haneefa is completing her nursing degree at UWC and his older brother Abdur-Raheem is reading towards an Islamic Studies and Arabic Degree at Madina Institute in Cape Town. His youngest sister is in Grade 6 at Rylands Primary School, and the other two sisters, Torheera and Dilshaad are in Grade 11 and matric, respectively, at Rylands High School.

Mr Moideen said compared to where they used to live, life was different but that they were making the best of their circumstances.

He said the children have to leave early in the morning to use public transport to get to their places of learning.

“Our message to all parents is to please take care and protect your children. Teach them good behaviour and morals and demonstrate to them good character so that they can be mindful citizens of South Africa,” he said.

Mr Moideen said their house had been broken into several times when they had just moved in, but things had since improved.

“There are a lot of social ills around us and not many can see the opportunities but they can rise above it and if my children can be that inspiration for them to see if they can do it then they can also say ’so can I’,“ he said.

Kerry Mauchline, Education MEC Debbie Schäfer’s spokesperson, said only 3 275 out of nearly 74 000 candidates in the province applied for a remark of their 2021 NSC examination scripts.

She said candidates may apply for remarking if they felt that the marks allocated on their written papers were not a true reflection of their performance.

“A remark means that the original answer script is marked for a second time by a marker,” she said.

Candidates can apply for a remark after they receive their results, before the specific deadline given each year.

Pupils who wanted to have their scripts remarked or to sit for the supplementary examinations in June had to have applied by mid-February.

Ms Mauchline said: “Your marks can only stay the same or increase”.

Remarking costs R104 a subject.

This fee is refunded to the pupil, if as a result of the re-marking, the candidate passes a subject or subjects which he or she initially failed, or if the candidate is awarded marks that improve the result in a subject by at least one level.

Candidates from no-fee schools are exempted from the payment of fees for remarking.

There is no fee for writing the June supplementary exams.

Candidates also have the option to apply for a re-check of their script, which is a check to ensure that all questions are duly marked and that all marks are correctly calculated. The cost for re-checks for the 2021 NSC was R25 a script.