Big steps

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In 2002 my daughter went to big school for the first time. I love looking at the photo of her dressed in her too-big school uniform with a beaming smile on her face. In what sometimes feels like the blink of an eye, she was sitting her matric finals. That’s twelve years of homework, assemblies, sports matches, friendships, car pools, parent-teacher meetings, bigger school uniforms, school fees, tests, exams, hopes and dreams. Oh, who am I kidding? Twelve years is a really long time, even if it does appear to fly by.
 
My daughter, much like all those bright-eyed young children going into Grade 1 this year, is now standing on the threshold of a new chapter in her life. Tertiary education is the next step in her education, one that will ultimately lead to her career choice and place in this world as an adult. It’s a big deal, and thankfully, she knows it. Earning her place in the adult world is not going to come easily. It will take passion and determination and really hard work. She’s going to need the love and support of her family just as much as she did in school. But it’s mostly up to her.
 
I read that of the half a million or so 2013 learners who wrote matric, around 24 000 will go to university. And of those, only around 4 000 will complete degrees. Only one out of eight matrics going into the job market this year will find jobs. If your child is still in school, this challenging reality re-emphasises the importance of a good education… and of your role as a parent.

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