Limpopo awards best performers with laptops, cellphones and bursaries

2014-01-07 16:24

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Most top performing matriculants hope for scholarships and bursaries, but Limpopo’s matric star was given a new Toyota Etios.

Ntsundeni Ndou will only get the car when he gets his driver’s license, he doesn’t have to worry about because a Good Samaritan has offered to sponsor his driving lessons and tests.

The 18-year-old, who scored seven distinctions, also received R50 000 for further studies, R10 000 in cash, a laptop and a cellphone.

Ndou said the prizes were fruits of his hard work: “I am not intelligent, this is just being passionately diligent.”

He said he had always dreamt of the day when he would be named as one of the top pupils in the country and said that he was happy, surprised and living his dream.

Ndou said he would study for a chemical engineering degree at Wits University.

Ndou, who attended Tshivhase Secondary School in the Venda area, was the star of the day at a ceremony held outside Polokwane today.

Limpopo also celebrated its pass rate of 71.8%, up from 63.9% in 2012 .

This may be a little lower than the 75% target the province set for itself for last year, but Limpopo Education MEC Dikeledi Magadzi still expressed her appreciation. He said 71.8% was the “highest pass rate achieved in the province since the advent of democracy in South Africa”.

“The increase in our Grade 12 National Senior Certificate results from 48.9% in 2009 to 71.8% in 2013 is tangible evidence that we have turned the tide and that we’re well on our way to turn our dreams into reality,” Magadzi said.

Meanwhile, Kamogelo Sekoaila from Motse Maria Secondary School got seven distinctions and came second in the province. Kabelo Ngoepe from Dendron Secondary School came third with seven distinctions.

The best performing schools and teachers were also recognised during the ceremony.

In his speech, Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha gave the education department a challenge in the new year.

“Although we have not reached the set target of 75%, Limpopo has for the first time in the 20 years of democracy and freedom recorded no less than a 70% matric pass rate. I am therefore of the view that we can set ourselves a target of 80% in 2014. I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that united in action, we can achieve this target,” he said.

Meanwhile, Magadzi has promised to crack the whip over the principals of the worst performing schools, saying some schools have failed to improve even after the government intervened and sent out teams to help them.

“To those principals who did not pull up their socks to improve their school results, very serious action will be taken this year. Let us remind our principals that we’re running a company and principals should regard themselves as CEOs of companies who are accountable to shareholders, in this instance, we are referring to parents,” she said.

“If there is no productivity, why should you continue holding these positions of authority? We’re going to follow the Labour Relations Act ... somebody must be held accountable.”

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