STLM honours Top Achievers

By Lucas Shongwe

Learners who achieved great in the Matric Class of 2017 in the Steve Tshwete Local Municipal area were honoured by the municipality’s head honcho Executive Mayor Alderman Mike Amos Masina.  The top learners received accolades from dignitaries in the education fraternity including director generals, circuit managers and school principals at an event held at Unique Guesthouse in Aerorand, south of Middelburg.

Tayyeba Shaik from Hoerskool Kanonkop came out on top of the Top Ten list of achievers in the Matric Class of 2017. She scored an average 91 percent. Prince Rakgwale from Sozama High School became a second top achiever with an average of 90.6 percent while Cassim Athifa from Steel Crest High School occupied the third spot at 90.5 percent.

Despite various challenges that all three students said they faced during preparations for the exams, they all said one thing in common when asked how they managed to achieve the top results. “Started preparing as early as January. Studied very hard and stayed focus with support from parents,” they told Reflections.  Later in the evening the municipality hosted a gala dinner where the Esther Mahlangu Foundation, Columbus Stainless Steel and Nedbank made announcements to assist the deserving, but poor, students by giving them bursaries.

“It’s always important to recognise and to reward the hard work that has been done for the whole year. Recognising the top achievers in this fashion further motivates them to continue working hard in their chosen field of studies at universities. It also motivates those who are going to be writing matric this year to work even harder. It is good for them, their parents and also for the community; they know that education is at the centre stage,” Mayor Masina told the paper.  Mayor Masina, former educator, said part of the broader planning is to inculcate the culture of studying and working as a unit by schools within Steve Tshwete so that it becomes “a way of life”. He said his office is working hard with the help of private sector and other stake holders to fine tune an implementation plan resulting from the resolutions of the education summit the municipality hosted last year with key education stakeholders.

“The exercise that we have done here is not the end result. We have initiated a study group to encourage matriculants area by area, street by street to come together and cultivate the culture of studying, working together, utilisation of resources maximal be it infrastructure, personnel etc. I am certain that once we find our footing in that regard, we are going to make the culture of studying and working together fashionable.  We will bring over the ward councillors, committees and everybody in an area,” he said.  According to the Mpumalanga Department of Education’s 2017 Matric Results for the National Senior Certificate (NSC), the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality recorded a 77.9 percent pass rate which is a 3.1 percent decline from last year’s 81.0 percent. Two thousand five hundred and three (2503) learners entered for the exams. A total of 2288 students wrote the exams and 1782 achieved.

Caption: Steve Tshwete Executive Mayor Alderman Mike Masina with the Class of 2017 top three achievers, Tayyeba Shaik from Hoerskool Kanonkop (left), Prince Rakgwale from Sozama High School (right) and Cassim Athifa from Steel Crest High School (back).