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Johannesburg - Limpopo has outdone itself by not only producing the best overall pupil countrywide in last year’s matric results, but three top pupils in both maths and physical science come from the province.
Star achiever Mmadikgetho Komane, 18, has been acknowledged by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga as South Africa’s number one with 1 730 marks.
The 18-year-old from Glen Cowie Secondary School in the rural Sekhukhune district obtained 100 percent in maths, physical science and accounting.
She passed the other four subjects with distinctions.
The teenager, who will pursue actuarial science studies at Wits University, said the reality that she is the top pupil nationwide had not yet sunk in.
“I knew I would probably do very well but I didn’t expect to be the national top learner,” she said.
Mmadikgetho ascribed her performance to her teachers and parents, who she said were educationally oriented. Her father is a sales executive at an insurance company and her mother a school principal.
“Hard work does pay. I dedicated 90 percent of my time to my books,” she said.
Coming second in a province that was dogged by the textbook saga was Kamogelo Mamashela of Pax High School, who scored 1 721 marks. Trailing behind him in the third position was Annie Thomas, from Capricorn High School, with 1 704 marks.
Limpopo improved passes in both maths and physical science by 7.9 and 7.8 percentage points respectively, with five pupils, excluding Mmadikgetho, scoring 100 percent in both maths and science, while four others scored 100 percent in physical science.
Performance in accounting has also risen, by 4.9 percentage points.
Limpopo’s overall performance has increased to 66.9 percent, from 63.9 percent the previous year.
Education MEC Dickson Masemola was upbeat about the constant improvement.
“Let me remind you that when I joined this department in 2009, we obtained a 48.9 percent pass rate. In 2010 we obtained an overall 57.9 percent pass rate, while in 2011 we obtained 63.9 percent,” he said.
Mbilwi Secondary School, which remains the best school in the province, produced 325 university exemptions.
Twenty-one schools with fewer than 50 candidates achieved a 100 percent pass rate. But Alapha Secondary School in the Capricorn district, which includes Polokwane, got a zero percent pass rate.