9 distinctions for rural pupil
Durban - The KZN Department of Education inaugural High Flyers programme for top matriculants has been hailed as a great success with its first beneficiary, Lindokuhle Mazibuko, becoming the first pupil from his rural school to obtain nine distinctions.
The programme, spearheaded by KZN Education MEC Peggy Nkonyeni, is designed to help top achievers from rural schools attain excellent matric results by enlisting the assistance of top teachers and subject advisers.
Mazibuko, of Amangwane High School in Bergville, has been described by his principal, Nhlanhla Dube, as a “pioneer”, as he was the only pupil at the school to take nine matric subjects while his peers settled for eight.
Dube said the department programme worked in tandem with the school’s extra classes, driven by its committed staff.
Teachers and pupils demonstrated such unwavering commitment to good results that even the rape of five pupils did not stop them from attending extra classes.
“Not even the rape of five of our pupils when they were returning from night classes could deter both teachers and pupils from achieving our ultimate objective,” said Dube.
Mazibuko, an aspiring Stellenbosch University medical student, received distinctions in physics, life science, agricultural science, geography, business studies, maths, isiZulu, English and life orientation.
Talking about the benefits of the two elite camps he attended last year, Mazibuko said: “The first camp organised by the district equipped me with a better understanding of the content, while the second camp called by the MEC in Pongola for two weeks played a key role in giving us good techniques to tackle the exams.”
He called on the department to extend the programme to other pupils, saying it should not be confined to top achievers as struggling matrics had more to benefit from such an initiative.
On his decision to take business studies as an extra matric subject, Mazibuko said wanted to establish a specialist clinic in his rural village of Zwelisha to ensure that poor people had access to superior medical care.
“I want to study medicine, specialising in neurology. After that I want to use my business acumen to start a clinic that would provide specialist medical care to rural folks. I have seen people ravaged by preventable diseases and I want to be at the forefront of changing this for my community,” said Mazibuko.
Dube described Mazibuko as a “brilliant young mind” who was “humble” and always willing to share the knowledge he gained at the camps with other pupils.
He said he was not surprised by Mazibuko’s achievement, saying he had shown signs of academic excellence from the outset.
Mazibuko’s parting shot to the class of 2016 was that success would happen when they deprived themselves of certain “pleasures of life”.
“This year they must put everything on hold and concentrate on their studies; after all, it’s just for 12 months,” he said.
* Use IOL’s Facebook and Twitter pages to comment on our stories. See links below.