FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What does a Full-Year Course Cost?
A: See "Courses and Costs" on the home page.
Q. Does SSir provide an accredited qualification?
A: SSir plays the same role as any teacher at a school who offers tuition towards the final matric exam. Teachers do not offer accreditation, but the accreditation comes from the matric certificate which they sit for. Students writing either the IEB matric exam or the Provincial matric exam receive an accredited matric certifcate from Umalusi. The exam and assessment portfolio contribute towards the accredited senior certificate. SSir does no accreditation.
Q. What are the hardware and software requirements for I.T.?
A: The courses are designed for Windows-based operating systems. Therefore, all the software runs on this platform. While other platforms such as Mac and Linux might also have versions of the required software available, support cannot be provided for those operating systems.
Q. How does a student get his lessons?
A: The lessons are available on the internet and they are accessed through a login name and password. A student is required to login in 3 to 5 times a week in order to check for updates, respond to questions by the teacher and to submit work. Good textbooks are prescribed. The lessons are shaped around the textbook. Some of the tasks require the use of the internet as a research facility to get in touch with most current information and trends all over the world.
Q. In what Format are the lessons?
A: Lessons are primarily text-based. Teachers explain concepts further and direct the student to activities which are to be done in order for concepts to be fully understood and internalized.
The use of video lessons is very prevalent in IT and CAT. These could be in the form of Youtube videos or video clips specifically created for our courses.
Many electronic formats are used in order to explain and support instruction. Powerpoint presentations, Spreadsheets, Databases and Drawing packages all have a role to play, depending on the subject matter covered.
Q. How does a student do and submit assessments?
A: There are three different types of assessments.
Online Assessments. With these, the student writes the assessment on the computer, on the internet. These assessments are often automatically marked by the computer and marks are often available directly after the assessment.
Offline Assessments. The instructions for such a task is provided on our website. The task, however, is done over a period of days (or even weeks). The completed assessment task is then uploaded to the space provided on our website. Here the teacher will mark it, after which the results will be available to the student on the website.
Tests and Exams. These require invigilation (supervision) by the school. The invigilating teacher must contact SSir a few days ahead of the test or exam to obtain the password. This password is used by the teacher to gain access to the exam download links. The teacher then prints the exam paper and downloads all Student Data which might be required by the students during the exam. The invigilating teacher places the printed exams in the school safe until they are due to be written. The invigilating teacher also distributes the Student Data so that it is available to all students writing the exam, for the duration of the exam.
Q. Who sets exam papers?
A: All exams are set by SSir, except of course the final matric exam. Students write two exams a year in grades 10 and 11 and sometimes even three in grade 12.
Q. Who must invigilate (supervise) tests and exams.
A: Exams and tests must be invigilated by the school. Exams are password protected and stored on the internet in a secure environment. Teachers (or parents of home-schooling students) contact SSir the day before the exam is due to take place and acquire a password for the exam. These teachers then download any exam papers which need to be printed. Such papers are then printed, reproduced and stored in the school safe until the exam is due.
Home-schooling students' parents may invigilate in Grade 10 as long as a formal Affidavit, signed at a commissioner of Oaths accompanies each exam. In Grade 11 and 12 such students should write at a school.
Invigilating teachers are also responsible for extracting or 'unzipping' any support material which might be required in the exam. Examples of these would be maps, data documents, programs, spreadsheets etc.
Q: When must exams and tests be done?
A. SSir Exams...
Exams can be scheduled with some flexibility within the schools' own exam timetable. However, because not all our students write their exams on the same day, an affidavit must be supplied by the school/invigilating person indicating that no copy of the exam paper has left the examination venue and that no copy of the paper is available to the student after he/she has written the paper.
Q: Who enrolls the student for the final matric exam?
A: SSir does not enroll students for the final matric exam. Either the school the student is attending on a daily basis or the student himself must enroll the student with the relevant examination body for the final matric exam.
Prelim Exams are handled in exactly the same way.
Final exams in grade 12 are managed and invigilated by the school.
Q. How do Grade 12 Students do Portfolios?
A. The portfolios for Gr 12 students are done throughout the Gr 12 year. These are submitted online. SSir then evaluates these items. A copy and marks are made available to the student. These marked items are collated and submitted as the student's portfolio. Deadline dates will appear in the details of the assignment.
Q. Windows or Apple or Android?
A. For Information Technology the focus is on programming in either Java or Delphi. Delphi only runs on Windows. Java runs on both Windows and Mac (Apple) but the course makes use of plug-ins that are only available for the Windows platform. SSir Online School teachers do not have Apple computers and might not be able to assist students on their Macs or Chromebooks.
As regards Computer-Applications Technology the focus is on Microsoft Office. While an adaptation is available for the Mac there are a lot of differences. In summary, for these two school subjects the Windows Platform is preferred.