Ready for the future: uMlazi matriculant Mvelo Lusiba sets off for university this week after a bungle in his maths mark nearly cost him his tertiary opportunity. Picture: Sibusiso Ndlovu / African News Agency (ANA)
DURBAN - The Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal is urging future matriculants to take full advantage of the re-marking process should they be dissatisfied with their end-of-year results.

This comes after uMlazi 2017 matriculant Mvelo Lusiba of Velabahleke High School had his maths mark bungled, resulting in his losing his sponsors and having his bursary application declined.

Department spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa said the blunder didn’t mean that their system was not credible. “It’s very credible. We need to understand that mark capturing is a process done by humans,” he said.

Mvelo, as per his original NSC results sheet, had obtained eight distinctions and 67% for maths.

Knowing that he was a top pupil, particularly in maths, his principal took him to the department offices Durban, where they found out that he had in fact got 93% for maths.

Mvelo had already applied for a bursary in actuarial science and had sponsors waiting to back him pending his final results. However, because of to the discrepancy he found himself with eight distinctions, no sponsors and no bursary.

“At the time, officials advised me to go through the re-marking process, but this meant waiting until April to get the results. I was furious because they put my future and life in jeopardy,” he said.

Mvelo, who has one younger sibling and was raised by his single mom, said he would not be at UCT if it had not been for his school principal who contacted chief markers nationally to assist in the re-marking.

“Once the re-marking was done, we sent my new NSC result sheet to UCT, clearing the blunder. What is most frustrating is that I have never been given an explanation as to what happened.”

Mvelo said that while he was in the clear in terms of being accepted into UCT, he still didn’t have a sponsor.

uMlazi matriculant Mvelo Lusiba sets off for university this week after a bungle in his maths mark nearly cost him his tertiary opportunity. Picture: Sibusiso Ndlovu/ANA

And it was not until last Saturday, when the school held an award ceremony for their top-achieving 2017 matriculants where Economic Development and Tourism MEC Sihle Zikalala was a guest that a “great burden” was lifted off his shoulders.

“After hearing about my ordeal, the MEC offered to assist with a bursary from Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs,” said Mvelo, who flew out of Durban for Cape Town on Thursday night.

Zikalala said it was important to encourage students who did particularly well, especially those who came from impoverished backgrounds.

“His success in terms of the distinctions he obtained is due to his determination and hard work and these qualities will certainly help him achieve the same success at UCT.”