The department of Education is set to honour Gauteng’s top achieving matric learners for 2021 in a ceremony on Wednesday, and it has emerged that despite the Covid-19 pandemic piling up the odds against them, dozens of schools in disadvantaged areas boasted learners who rank among the top achievers.
According to Gauteng education department spokesperson Steve Mabona, some of the top achieving schools in the province included IR Lesolang Secondary School in Winterveld, Pelotona Secondary School in Soshanguve and Bhukulani Secondary in Soweto.
Not least among the proud whiz kids to be honoured on Wednesday is Ntokozo Hlongwane who just completed his studies at Bhukulani Senior Secondary School in Soweto, Johannesburg. Out of the seven subjects he wrote exams for, the youngster obtained six distinctions.
Hlongwane hoped those who were following his footsteps would be able to use the opportunity presented by Covid-19 to become more independent and adaptive as learners. This was his winning formula in the tough year that was now finally behind him.
“I am so glad that the Covid-19 caught the class of 2020 because for me Covid-19 was an opportunity, a way of changing the mindset and a way of being independent. As a result we’re independent and we were able to learn on our own… and I’m so grateful.”
Hlongwane’s school mate, Gugulethu Thusi at Bhukula Senior Secondary School also bagged six distinctions, having missed a seventh one by one percentage point. She was nevertheless proud and grateful for her achievement.
She thanked her parents, teachers and God for pushing her through the year. Thusi scored 91% for Mathematics and 97% for Physical Scientist. Thusi said she beat the odds by refusing to allow Covid-19 to become an excuse for not trying her best.
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” It was a challenging year but we managed to persevere because they have built character. They taught us that your attitude determines your altitude, so it wouldn’t matter whatever challenges life throws at us, if we want to accomplish our dreams we have to work hard in order to reach them, because there is no excuse.”