Smiles as Gauteng are ‘top dogs’
Big effort made to turn around township schools
SCHOOLS across the capital city etched their names into the history books of education by scooping many top awards at the Gauteng matric awards ceremony.
From the onset, the ceremony had Tshwane’s name written all over it, and among the mayors in attendance at the ceremony at Unisa was Tshwane’s Solly Msimanga, beaming with pride as the capital, and its fine youngsters earned accolade after accolade.
At the same time, Gauteng was lauded as the top province, with the man at the helm of education, MEC Panyaza Lesufi, garnering high praise for his work in improving education in the province.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura described the province as “top dog” – and not in a derogatory way. “Dogs are such wonderful animals,” he said. “You guys (Gauteng education officials and learners) are top dogs this year.”
On Thursday, Makhura said the results were a reflection of how much energy the province has invested in turning around the performance in township schools.
“Many of our township schools are beginning to perform at a rate way above 80%,” he said.
He added that he was gathering evidence that Lesufi was indeed the best MEC for education in the country.
“It is heart-warming to be part of a City of Excellence,” said Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga.
“As the leader of this metro, I can’t help but walk tall with pride,” Msimanga said, congratulating the class of 2018 heartily.
Tshwane was the city to take first and second places for schools with the highest number of bachelor passes, with Hoërskool Garsfontein in first place, followed by Hoërskool Waterkloof. A number of individual top learners were from the city, including four with nine distinctions each.
The top learner in business studies was Philemon Mashabela from Zithobeni Secondary School in Bronkhorstspruit, while the top learner in accounting was Taleah Ayob from the Central Islamic School, with full marks. The top leaner in English First Additional Language was Ernst Zehnder from Waterkloof.
The top learner in life science went to Johne Hattingh, while two learners shared top spot in physical science (with four other matrics): Annah Musandiwa from IR Lesolang Secondary and Harvey Nlapho from Pelotona Secondary School.
Hattingh was also placed second for overall performance. “I really didn’t expect this award. I’m so overwhelmed,” said a blushing Hattingh.
Asked what advice she would give to matriculants, she replied: “Make time for everything, work, play and relaxation. Don’t bury yourself in books and, equally, don’t bury yourself in fun.”
The top learner in maths literacy was Ramalope Makhubele from Soshanguve South Secondary, with Taleah Ayob from the Central Islamic School second in maths, as well as in third place overall.
The top three performing township schools were all in Tshwane, with Reitumetse Secondary School in Soshanguve first, followed by Ratshepo High School in Temba and Soshanguve Secondary School.
In the category School for Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN), Filadelphia School in Soshanguve placed second behind Joburg’s Lantern School.
Msimanga congratulated all the winners representing the city, saying: “It is exciting. We always say that we must ignite excellence. Many of our schools are doing exceptionally well, above the provincial average.”
The Tshwane South district was placed first among districts in the province.
Prize-winners receive a bursary as well as laptops, cash prizes and vouchers.
GAUTENG MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga with one of Gauteng’s top achievers, Tinotenda Mudzingwa, during the Gauteng matric awards ceremony held at Unisa. | OUPA MOKOENA African News Agency (ANA)