23-year-old Mpumalanga pupil rewrites matric, gets two A's

2016-01-06 16:40
Dumisile Shongwe. (Picture: Supplied)

Dumisile Shongwe. (Picture: Supplied)

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Only 61% of pupils who enrolled in 2004 made it to matric - expert

2016-01-06 16:39

Education expert stresses why reading to learn is as critical as learning to read.WATCH

Cape Town – Mpumalanga pupil Dumisile Shongwe wants to be the Reserve Bank Governor one day, and is determined to do whatever is necessary to get there.

- Get your matric results here

Even if it meant rewriting Grades 11 and 12.

At 23, she was one of the oldest matriculants in her school. This did not worry her at all, as she was determined to grab a second chance at an education with both hands.

She first wrote matric at St Michael’s High School in Manzini, Swaziland, in 2010, but could not afford to attend university.

After alternating between staying at home and working to raise funds for four years, the 23-year-old moved from her grandmother's home to Mpumalanga to stay with her uncle, aunt, and three cousins.

Her mother died when she was six and she never knew her father.

In South Africa, she was told she would have to go back to Grade 11. She refused to take this as a setback, and saw it as a second chance.

She enrolled at the Vukubone Secondary School in Driefontein in 2014, and in her matric year in 2015 achieved a 75% pass rate, with two distinctions.

She had hoped for at least four distinctions, but she said she could live with her results. She got distinctions for Mathematics Literacy and Life Orientation, and 77% for English, 72% for isiZulu, 68% for Economics, and 61% for Business Studies.

While her peers were having fun at malls and parties throughout the year, she wrote poems and joined the debate team, because she said she had had all the fun when she was in matric the first time.

"It doesn’t matter what age you are, if you want to get educated, you have to work at it, you have to do what is required, and do it well.

"What if you die at 60, never having taken any chances? You could have wasted a full 40 years wondering what people will think if you go back to school."

She had expected to be the oldest pupil at her school when she enrolled, but there were some who were a little older.

"It wasn’t really nice having to do the two grades again, and I actually expected other kids to make fun of me and mock me, but they were nice. I stayed focused, was determined to excel and I made it again."

Shongwe was a beneficiary of the Adopt-a-School Foundation, an NGO that helped schools in disadvantaged areas.

She plans to study economics at the University of Pretoria this year. Her plan is to work towards her Reserve Bank dream by starting off as a teacher, then completing her master’s degree in economics.

For those who failed matric in 2015 and were thinking of giving up, Shongwe had this advice: "Get up, dust yourself off and go back to school. Today. Think of it as experience. You know exactly where you went wrong and what the teachers are looking for. Here, you will have the upper hand."

Her principal, Makhosini Buthelezi, said Shongwe, a star pupil, worked hard at putting together the building blocks of her future.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  education  |  matric 2015

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