Smiles as Gaut­eng are ‘top dogs’

Big ef­fort made to turn around town­ship schools

Saturday Star - - METRO - SAKHILE NDLAZI [email protected]

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)

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