Books before boys, minister tells schoolgirls

Malamulele - Communication Minister Faith Muthambi has warned schoolboys against chasing after girls, but has encouraged both sexes to focus on their schoolwork.

Muthambi was speaking at Peninghotsa High School in Mtititi village near Malamulele, Limpopo, this week as part of a visit to various schools for the department's back to school campaign.

"We do not want learners dropping out of school as a result of things that we can prevent such as teenage pregnancies and drug abuse. Girls, it is books before boys, let it remain so. Boys, stop chasing our girls, instead spend your energy chasing As," she said.

The minister said communities need to provide support to students and ensure they do not loiter on the streets during school hours.

"We also have to ensure that school infrastructure is used adequately to enhance student performance. Protect and preserve our school infrastructure, and guard against vandalism," she added.

She further urged community members to always regard school property as their resource.

"Please don’t buy that computer, TV set or gardening tools that have been stolen from your child’s school. If you buy them you are robbing your own child," she said.

Muthambi also pleaded with pupils to consider their parents' budget before choosing a school.

"We see parents stretching their family budgets to send their children to schools in far-flung places. Children wake up extremely early and have to travel in unroadworthy vehicles to attend school. We must improve the schools in our neighbourhoods so that they are attractive to pupils and their parents," said Muthambi.

Muthambi promised to attend other challenges that have contributed in the school producing a 54% matric pass rate in 2015.

School principal, Hasani Chauke, told the minister that not only were some of the school buildings blown off in a hailstorm last February, but the school also has a shortage of teachers.

"Our Grade 12 pupils wrote their final examinations in those classes without a roof. Some parents withdrew their kids this year and we are left with 200 pupils. It is challenging," said Chauke. 
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