Turret Correspondence College

by Babylon Xeketwane

What makes Turret Correspondence College different from other col­leges? By the way, I have tried each and every correspondence college south of the Equator. Name one — I have tried it. I tried them all be­cause I really wanted my Matric.

When I first went to Turret, I did not feel good. I waited to speak to some­one. Then Sheila called me into her office. When I came out of her office, I felt like a different person — I felt good.

And I learnt something from her. I learnt that it was not just the Matric certificate that was important. But learning was also important. And not just school learning — but learning what is happening around you.

Anna was the second person I met at Turret. And I grew to like her very much. Anna knows and remembers each and every student at Turret. Margy and Sasa helped the students. They did much to make all of us enjoy our time at Turret.

And of my fellow students, I cannot say any one did more than the others to make my time at Turret something special.

All I can say is that I am finishing my three years with Turret and I will never forget them. Turret has taught me to say NO when I want to say No.

(from the Turret Correspondence College newsletter, Johannesburg.)

When Learn and Teach read what Babylon said about Turret College, we went to Turret to find out what it is all about. There we spoke to Cindy Cupido and Darkie Molantoa.


Cindy started by telling us how Turret began. “Turret Correspondence College is part of SACHED — the South African Council for Higher Educa­tion,” said Cindy. “We run courses for people who want to study for their matric certificates.

“Turret prepares people to write the Turret Joint Matriculation Board (JMB) examinations. We chose the JMB examinations because they are the only ex­aminations that everyone can write — it doesn’t matter what colour the stu­dents are — unlike the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.”


Turret students at a “learning event”


Then Darkie started to talk. “Very often people who leave school before they finish are called ‘drop-outs,” he said. “But calling people ‘drop-outs’ means you blame them because they left school.

‘Here, at Turret, we call people ‘left-outs’ because we feel schools leave people out in the cold. And these are the people we try to help. Turret is for adults who never finished school. We try to give these people a second chance to learn.”


“When Turret College started, people who wanted to do matric used to come to the Turret Centres.” Cindy said. “People came for lessons once a week. But last year Turret College changed. Now we are a correspon­dence college. People study on their own, at home.

“We have workbooks for every sub­ject. We try to make our workbooks as interesting as we can. And we try, in our workbooks.to make people ask questions about what they are learn­ing— not just learn without thinking.”


“We have two courses at Turret. One course takes three years and the other course is just for one year,” said Darkie.’ ‘The three-year course is for people who have done Standard Eight or Form Three.

“And the one-year course is for people who have done matric but not Or people who started matric but not write their exams.”


“In the three-year course, people spend two years doing the subjects they will write on the higher grade. At the end of the first year, people write a Turret exam. Then at the end of the se­cond year, people write the JMB exam.

“In the third year, people do their stan­dard grade subjects. And if people want to do Mathematics, then they must do it over three years.”


“With the one-year course, people only do the subjects that they failed when they wrote their matrics before. If people did not write matric, then they do all the subjects together.”


Turret students share their problems in a study group


“We have ‘learning events’ four times a year at each of our centres. At ‘learn­ing events’ all the students who are studying through Turret come together for a week-end. We try to cover each subject during these week-ends.

“‘Learning events’ are important be­cause students meet and talk. They also give students a chance to or­ganise study groups so that they can help each other at home.”

Turret has centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Grahamstown, East London, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth and Pietermaritzburg. If you are in­terested in studying with Turret Cor­respondence College, you can write to them.


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