By Chamu Wilson –
The Free State Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) for the Department of Education, Dr Tate Makgoe, has declared that the province is fully prepared to defend its position as the top performer in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.
Speaking at Tsoseletso Secondary School in Bloemfontein today (Tuesday) where he was monitoring learners who were sitting for the English Paper 2 Matric examination, Makgoe said the province was raring to go.
“We are here today to just remind the learners who are sitting for their examinations that they can do it. All the 13-years of learning must be put to good use. Sometimes learners have doubts about themselves but we are to remind them that they can do it and that they are simply the best,” said Makgoe.
According to the MEC, Tsoseletso has over the years produced quality matric graduates who have gone to excel in different areas of specialisation.
“Tsoseletso has been a beacon of hope and I think this school will give us very good results again this year. It is a school that everybody has come to respect for producing quality. We are targeting a 100% pass rate. It is one of the schools that has, over the years, come to demonstrate that even township schools can be associated with excellence,” the MEC said.
Makgoe explained that his hope is for all township schools to continue producing excellent results.
The school principal, Michael Litabe, expressed appreciation for the MEC’s visit saying it motivated the learners to do well.
“I am very grateful to the MEC for choosing to come to Tsoseletso and inspire our learners. You could see that the learners were excited and I have no doubt that this will be reflected in the results. As a school, we are targeting a 100% pass rate. The worst we can do is 95%. Anything less than is not good enough,” he boldly stated.
The principal added that despite the fact that most of the learners come from poor families, the teachers at his school are very devoted to bringing out the best in them.
“As a school, we are very committed to producing future leaders from these learners. To us, we stress to them that what is important is not where they are coming from but where they are going. Wherever they are going, education must open doors for them especially at a time when tertiary education is now free,” Litabe explained.
The next exam for the Matric learners is Accounting on Wednesday 24 Oct while the Tourism examination will be written the following day. The IT Paper 2; Maths Paper 1; Maths Lit Paper 1; Tech Maths Paper 1 as well as Religious Studies are expected to be written on 26 October.
Meanwhile, learners in Soutpan are writing their matric exams at a church in the area. This follows unrests where learners locked out teachers and the principal on Monday (22 Oct), for allegedly coming to work under the influence of alcohol. The MEC has condemned the unrest saying there are channels to follow to resolve any grievance that learners or even teachers might have.
“We condemn the issue of disrupting exams and lessons due to strikes and demonstrations. While we are alive to the fact that the learners might have genuine grievances, we believe due processes must be followed in resolving these. Efforts are being made to find a solution to the issue in Soutpan. The good thing is exams are proceeding,” said Makgoe.