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Mpumalanga no-fee school excels in matric exams

Written by Siphiwe Nyathi
Mpumalanga’s most improved no-fee school went from a matric pass rate of below 20 per cent to 100 per cent in the space of a year.

Mathukwane Secondary School in Casteel near Bushbuckridge achieved a mere 19.4 per cent matric pass rate in 2012 but managed to increase this to 100 per cent in 2013.

“I am very happy about the drastic improvement. We are aiming for the better quality this year and hoping to increase the number of the admission to bachelor degrees,” said the school’s principal Farris Siwela.

He attributed the school’s success to teamwork on the part of provincial education officials, teachers, pupils and parents.

Siwela said the school had to overcome a shortage of chairs and desks to ensure that pupils studied in a comfortable environment.

“Pupils were encouraged to do their work both in the classroom and at home while the teachers were closely monitoring everything. We are happy with the progress and we can still do better this year,” he said. Thabang Malele, 19, is one of the pupils who achieved a bachelor’s pass.

“We did not have enough study materials so our teachers had to outsource them from a neighbouring school. We did not have everything but our attitude and hard work paid off,” said Malele.

He said pupils attended a one-month camp at the school to ensure they studied and interacted with the teachers.

Malele said although he passed well, he did not apply to university. His dream is to pursue a career in traffic management.

Fellow pupil Mahlatse Mmola, 18, cried when she learnt that she had comfortably passed all her subjects.

“I want to thank my parents and teachers for their support. My mother gave me less domestic work to make sure that I get time to study while my teachers motivated me to study,” said Mmola, who wants to study social work.