Manisha Rambaran (18) from Meadowlands Technical High School
Manisha Rambaran (18) from Meadowlands Technical High School

Start working now, says 2020 matriculant to the Class of 2021

By MaryAnne Isaac Time of article published Feb 24, 2021

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Durban - Not being able to experience a ‘normal’ matric year was a challenge for the Class of 2020, but the resilient group shattered hopeless expectations from onlookers and made it an epic success in spite of the pandemic.

Manisha Rambaran (18), from Meadowlands Technical High School in Chatsworth, Durban, says her matric year experience was tough and her daily motivation for getting out of bed and into study mode was the goal to achieve the best results possible.

Having attained her bachelor's degree pass with a distinction in life orientation, Rambaran credits her teachers and principal for making a year that was challenging seem easy.

“My matric year was demanding and, with the lockdown, I felt there wasn’t enough time to prepare for exams. But our teachers made it easier for us. They guided us throughout the entire year. We basically only went to school for three months and returned to write our preliminary exams and, a week or two later, we wrote our final matric exam. It was tough, but we made it.

“Our matric dance got cancelled due to Covid-19. After we wrote our last paper, our teachers put together a small farewell while we were walking down towards the school gate exit. That was an amazing tribute from our school. Our teachers really tried their best to make our matric year memorable,” says Rambaran.

She adds that the year 2020 was also a year of maturity and realising the importance of true friends, and believes that her support system of family, friends and God helped her to stay calm during the stressful times of studying for exams.

“My motivation was to get a bachelor's degree pass, which I got. Praying to God and support from my family, friends and teachers played a big role in helping me stay calm and pushed me towards achieving my goals. Our support system at school was our subject teachers. They helped me throughout the year. They constantly checked up on us to see if we were doing well and if we understood the work. My support system at home was my family. They are the most supportive people I know, as they motivated me every day.

“My friends were also my strength and we supported each other whenever we had our off days. We called it the ‘blue days’, and I've had many blue days during this year, but they supported and motivated me every day. I am forever grateful to be blessed with such amazing teachers, family and friends.

“I used to teach myself, and would act as if I was teaching my friends, and would just talk to myself. I used to walk around my room and house acting like a teacher, and that helped me study. I also taught my brother some of my work, so I could understand it better.”

Rambaran aspires to study teaching and also plans to obtain her driver's licence this year as a sign of independence. Her goal for 2021 is to be a better person and to continue to grow in confidence and faith in her life’s decision-making.

She advises the Class of 2021 to start working from day one and not to casually treat school holidays as a break.

“This year is going to be one of your most challenging years of your life, don't give up. Believe in yourself. Have faith in yourself and pray to God. If you're feeling anxious about something, talk to someone or write about how you feel on a page. Once you let all the negativity out of your mind, only positive and good things will come your way.

“Passing matric is one of the greatest joys you will experience. Make this matric a symbol of something you will cherish for the rest of your life. All the best, Class of 2021! You can do it.”

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