Top science pupils make Raisethorpe High proud

2014-08-18 00:00

THREE of South Africa’s top young science boffins come from Raisethorpe High School in Pietermaritzburg.

Ishaq Lakhi came first overall in the country in the National Science Olympiad, returning last week from his prize-winning trip to the London International Youth Science Forum.

Two schoolmates joined him in the top 20 — Devania Govender, who came third, and Samkelisiwe Dladla.

All three said they were extremely proud because they showed what public schools can attain.

It is clear that the talent runs in their families. Lakhi’s parents are teachers and his dad has taught maths. Govender’s brother is studying chemistry at university while Dladla has a mother who is a biology teacher, a brother studying medical technology and another studying mechanical engineering.

Lakhi and Dladla are planning to study chemical engineering next year. Govender plans to study medicine next year.

All three were at the National Science Forum in Pretoria, and were only told the results on the last day. Govender said they were shocked. “We just looked at each other, we didn’t know how to react.”

Lakhi is still processing all that he went through and learnt in London. He said in Pretoria they felt comfortable and were able to hold their own. “Thanks to our teachers and the way we are being taught,” he said. However, in London he immediately noticed the difference. “By international standards we may be behind, but I soon realised this was because of better resources and better opportunities and science education starts much earlier in the overseas countries, but we can get there,” Lakhi added.

School principal Indran Pillay described his science boffins as remarkable ambassadors, not just for the school, but for the city and the province.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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