Tough ed­u­ca­tion chal­lenges raised

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Conelia Harry

PREG­NANT exam writ­ers and drugs in school marred the past ma­tric out­comes. Ed­u­ca­tion Dis­trict Direc­tor Dr David Chonco made these as­ser­tions at a cel­e­bra­tory brunch in Richards Bay on Fri­day, hosted by King Cetshwayo Dis­trict Mayor Nonhle Mkhulisi to hon­our the dis­trict´s top five matrics. Held at Premier Ho­tel The Richards, the event pro­vided a plat­form for dis­trict rep­re­sen­ta­tives to meet and greet top learn­ers: Lethokuhle Mgabi of Em­pan­geni High School, Mal­i­bongwe Radebe ( Khom­bindlela High), Akona Bu­sani (Dlangezwa High), Kayashan Moodaly and Nikita Mun­yen of Richards Bay High School (fifth) and to hear about their fu­ture plans and as­pi­ra­tions. Learn­ers who at­tained 100% in var­i­ous sub­jects were also in at­ten­dance−Tisand High School´s Sphelele Gumede, who at­tained full marks for phys­i­cal sci­ence and English (ad­di­tional lan­guage) and Siyanda Zakwe for elec­tri­cal tech­nol­ogy power sys­tem, Mthokozii Mh­longo (Biz­imali High) for maths and phys­i­cal sci­ence and Nom­buso Gumede (eMkhayi­deni High) for tech­ni­cal sci­ence. Mkhulisi en­cour­aged the learn­ers to be ready for life´s chal­lenges and to re­mem­ber the wise words of their par­ents, fam­i­lies and teach­ers. `As a par­ent, I will ad­vise you that we all need helpers on our jour­ney and you need to re­main fo­cused and dis­ci­plined as you ven­ture off to ter­tiary stud­ies; al­ways use the life skills you have been taught,´ she said. Wel­com­ing the con­grat­u­la­tory mes­sages on the dis­trict´s im­proved pass rate, in­creased bach­e­lor passes and top achiev­ers re­sults, Ed­u­ca­tion Dis­trict Direc­tor Dr David Chonco ad­mit­ted he was not happy with the over­all per­for­mance and in­di­cated the dis­trict must im­prove by at least 6−8% this year. `We have noted that some schools have dropped in their per­for­mances and these are mainly from the Richards Bay area; drug lords are destab­lis­ing our good schools and we need our par­ents to help us over­come this chal­lenge. `We noted that our Eshowe cir­cuit per­formed well, Mtun­zini im­proved the most and the best per­for­mance was re­ceived in the City of uMh­lathuze. `At eSikhaleni we had learn­ers loi­ter­ing in the streets in the past and par­ents and the com­mu­nity got in­volved and now that is no longer an is­sue,´ he said. Other chal­lenges plagu­ing the de­part­ment in­cluded teenage preg­nan­cies. `We have an in­creased num­ber of girls who wrote their ma­tric ex­ams in hos­pi­tal as they were preg­nant. `We are a school­ing sys­tem, not a hos­pi­tal and need to pro­mote a cam­paign to ed­u­cate them that sex can wait. `It is dif­fi­cult to write when you are preg­nant and in pain in hos­pi­tal; we dis­cour­age it be­cause there are many com­pli­ca­tions and learn­ers need to fo­cus com­pletely on their stud­ies,´ said Chonco.

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