Prov­ince fails to make the top 22

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - TEBOGO MONAMA


DE­SPITE prom­ises from the Gauteng De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion that the prov­ince’s pupils would be the top achiev­ers, not even one was among the top ma­tric­u­lants who cel­e­brated their re­sults with Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Angie Mot­shekga yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Mot­shekga met the 22 can­di­dates from across the coun­try at Vo­da­world in Midrand to cel­e­brate their bril­liant re­sults.

Speak­ing to the can­di­dates, Mot­shekga said they were the “top of the crop”.

“This is the be­gin­ning, not a des­ti­na­tion for you. We urge you to con­tinue to lead our coun­try. You proved you can,” Mot­shekga said, adding that the can­di­dates were am­bas­sadors for the pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

She en­cour­aged young peo­ple to ab­stain from al­co­hol and drugs and in­stead con­cen­trate on ed­u­ca­tion.

“As a community and as South Africans we must con­tinue to ed­u­cate our young peo­ple about the dan­gers of al­co­hol, sex and drugs.”

She said young peo­ple’s per­sonal cir­cum­stances should not stop them from achiev­ing great re­sults. “Per­sonal cir­cum­stances must not con­demn a child to dire poverty and un­der­achiev­ing.”

This rang true for Ta­lenta Ma­tiane from Jim Cha­vani High School in Lim­popo, one of the best-per­form­ing can­di­dates in quin­tile 2 schools. The can­di­date said it was be­cause of the sup­port of his school and fam­ily that he was able to achieve his good marks.

De­spite un­rest in the Vuwani area at the be­gin­ning of last year lead­ing to the clo­sure and burn­ing of schools for sev­eral weeks and the exam pa­per leak in the Vhembe district, Lim­popo has 12 of the best-per­form­ing can­di­dates in the coun­try. Gauteng can­di­dates did not make it to the list of top-per­form­ing can­di­dates in spite of Ed­u­ca­tion MEC Panyaza Le­sufi say­ing last month that the prov­ince’s can­di­dates would be the best per­form­ing in the coun­try.

He ac­cused North West, Free State and Western Cape of keep­ing back pupils in Grade 11 so as to do well in ma­tric.

Dur­ing the fi­nal ex­ams last year it was found that the twoexam maths pa­pers were leaked. The prin­ci­pal of an in­de­pen­dent school has since been ar­rested. The de­part­ment has said re­sults for two schools in the Giyani area will not be re­leased, pend­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Con­rad Stry­dom from Her­manus High School in the Western Cape, one of the top per­form­ers in maths and phys­i­cal science, ad­mit­ted it had not been an easy jour­ney.

Dur­ing his ma­tric year, Con­rad won first place in the South African Physics Olympiad.

He said it was hard to bal­ance his school work and ex­tra­mu­ral ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The Olympiad stands out for me. But I was also run­ning around be­ing in the school rep­re­sen­ta­tive coun­cil, so that took up quite a bit of my time. For the rest of the time I was study­ing.”

He said he had not ex­pected to be one of the best achiev­ers in the coun­try.

“I don’t think it’s a thing you can ex­pect, but I was hop­ing. I was study­ing the whole year. I was do­ing re­vi­sion dur­ing the hol­i­days as well.”

To pre­pare for the ex­ams, Con­rad, 19, said he wrote notes that he re­vised from, and he didn’t rest dur­ing the hol­i­days.

He said phys­i­cal science was his pas­sion, and he plans to study the­o­ret­i­cal science at the Univer­sity of Stel­len­bosch.

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