MEC urges kids to choose books over sex

2013-06-27 21:57
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Hazyview - Mpumalanga Education MEC Reginah Mhaule on Thursday deplored a decline in high school pass rates in the province, and urged pupils to choose learning over sex and drugs.

"In 2011, this school obtained 49%, and instead of improving the school declined to 43%. As a department this year we have taken an initiative to label all schools below 50% dysfunctional," Mhaule told Grade 10, 11 and 12 pupils at Jerusalem High School near Hazyview, according to a Sapa reporter.

The students were attending winter classes.

"Like Nelson Mandela said: 'Education is the best weapon one can use to change the world.' Let us not sit and mourn that we are from poor families," Mhaule added.

"Focus on your books and make sure you refrain from sex and drugs... We see it's very cold these days, but for you to come here shows that you are keen to learn."

Mhaule encouraged pupils to use the dial-a-tutor programme that the department planned to launch on 15 July. A tweet-a-tutor programme was also in the pipeline.

"You just need to call a specialist in your subject and ask any question. This is the department’s plan to make sure that you don't fail saying you didn't have support."

The MEC was accompanied by two matriculants, Bonginkosi Mnisi and Calvin Mawere, who said they managed to produce top results despite poor family backgrounds.

"These young men are from very poor communities [poorer] than yours; they lived in homes without electricity, but through studying they became stars and are now having full time bursaries and after that they are going to work at big companies and make money to change the situation at home," she said.

Kids urged to work hard

Out of Mpumalanga's 529 secondary schools that offer Grade 12, Jerusalem High School is ranked 490th in terms of results.

Mawere, from Bushbuckridge, is studying medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand.

He told pupils: "What you need is just hard work. Forget about problems at home. You may be from a poor family - parents drinking and some fighting every day disturbing you - but that's not your problem. Your problem is the number of books which you have to read."

Mnisi, a third year science student majoring in physics, astro-physics and applied maths, said he came from a community without electricity or running water, but obtained the top marks in his school.

"What I'm asking you do to is to try by all means to excel in your books," he said.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  reginah mhaule  |  mbombela  |  education

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