Matric results from a rural Limpopo perspective

2017-01-09 07:56

So close, yet so far

Congratulations to the top achievers, rising above standards. Congratulations to all who passed, rising above daily struggles. Congratulations to the optimistic and hopeful, better luck next time. Sympathies to the unfortunate, this is not the end of the world.

I am proud to see how students from rural schools are being awarded. Something I think some people don't understand all too well. Let me brag: you make something out of nothing!!

Take Vhembe District in Limpopo Province for instance. Compared to the likes of Capricorn District, we certainly don't have a lot of "well resourced" and "modern" schools.

Students are still doing English as an additional or second language. A disadvantage if you ask me in the academic world. From experience, one thinks in vernac and translates to English while studying.

The sad reality is the drop in quality of the passes. The eventual struggle with college and university admission. The pressure to be someone and do something. And the constant exposure to flashy lifestyles by dropouts, musicians, artists and traders.

As the year starts, let's starting planning on how to assist our grade 11 and 12s early. I'm not talking about teaching them Maths and Science, something held so high up.

Let us be realistic. As much as we want it to happen, not all of our students will achieve distinctions. At least that's true for rural areas still disadvantaged. Children leaving home with empty stomachs. Lack of stationery, online resources, laboratories and encyclopaedias.

How can we encourage high schoolers to see that there's life besides becoming a doctor, engineer, accountant or scientist. Frankly, not everyone has the means to study such. Part-time jobs, distance learning and studying later in life are always options.

We still seeing a lack of great life skills in our matriculants. Driving, doing taxes, coping skills, safe sex practice, self-esteem, self-awareness and emotional intelligence to say the least. Our teenager continue to suffer in silence without mentors and positive role models.

Let us unite. Empower the youth, improve their future decisions and make South Africa great.

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