PHUTHADITJHABA. – The 2016 graduation ceremony for the Maluti Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College was once again met with a feeling of euphoria. The event took place on Thursday, 23 June, at the Phuthaditjhaba Multi-purpose Hall in Phuthaditjhaba, Qwaqwa. Proceedings were preceded with music by the College Choir.Veli Mabena, the principal of the college, delivered a welcome and a word of thanks. A large number of graduates belonging to the institution’s eight campuses, those being Bethlehem, Bonamelo, Harrismith, Itemoheleng, Kwetlisong, Lere La Tshepe, Sefikeng and Main Campus, were awarded with certificates and diplomas in various fields of study. This year’s ceremony had to be split into two sessions, from 09:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 17:00 respectively, due to the high number of graduates. Dr Victor Mathobela, a lecturer and researcher of the University of the Free State (UFS), was the main speaker at the occasion.“You need not be reminded that South Africa is currently facing a plethora of challenges, at the top of which are unemployment, poverty, inequality and a requisite skills shortage, to name just a few,” Mathobela said.He pointed out that the reason the economy of South Africa was negatively affected was the fact that South Africans were lagging behind in matters of education in comparison to nations such as Nigeria and Egypt.Mathobela echoed the sentiments of the late former president of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. “Education is the great engine of personal development. “It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, the son of a mine worker a head of the mine and the child of a farm worker the president of a great nation,” he said. Former student Kamohelo Bodibe, who was the guest speaker in the second session, added to the day’s brilliance by urging graduates to stay focused, as there are lots of opportunities that will follow their achievement.