Durban - A top performing KwaZulu-Natal deaf pupil is jumping for joy and is on her way to law school after attaining good results in her matric exams.
Thabile Qondani from the KwaThintwa School of the Deaf in Cato Ridge, is off to university to study towards a law degree at the University of Zululand after attaining the second highest mark in the Sign Language exam nationally.
The subject was adopted as a home language in the 2018 matric exams for the first time.
On Tuesday, Qondani and fellow matriculants from her school were awarded with trophies for their matric success by KZN Finance MEC Belinda Scott.
But Qondani’s road to matric success has not been without angst, as she lost her mother at a young age and was abandoned by her father. The 20-year-old pupil, speaking through her former English teacher Stephanie Paul, said growing up without her parents was difficult, but her aunt and uncle had filled the void.
“It was difficult growing up without parents but even more difficult to accept my disability. My aunt and my uncle took me in and gave me all the support,” said the Pietermaritzburg-born pupil.
She had high praise for the school principal Dr Mavis Naidoo and the teachers and support staff at the school.
“Everyone welcomed me with open arms and supported me with everything that I needed,” she said.
Scott awarded trophies and awards to pupils at the school during a function on Tuesday. Scott adopted the school, which scored a 100% matric pass rate in last years exams, in 2014.
Scott hailed the school and said it was proof that a good school was not based on how much money or resources the school had, but it was based on the education and the love and pride that teachers and the principal had.
“If you really need to see that, then come to this school. It is really an exceptional school…These children are not disabled but they are empowered because of their strength is much greater,” Scott said.
Scott had encouraging words for Qondani.
“Thabile, I am very proud of you,” she said.
“I am sure you will love your law degree and I know you will do well. I am looking forward to following your career as well as all the careers of the young matriculants here. What I always say to young children is that the future president could be amongst us because we are today among such greatness,” said Scott.
Naidoo said the school had attained a 100% matric pass rate for the past eight years. Of the eight learners who wrote their matric exams last year, five had bachelor passes while the other three had Diploma passes, she said.
She said the quality of passes had been gradually improving over the years, with those passing attaining As, Bs and C symbols in various subjects.