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Moteke's passion for maths pays off

By unknown | Oct 25, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Penwell Dlamini

Penwell Dlamini

Phoenix Moteke excelled in mathematics although he had dropped out of university because of his parents' poverty.

Moteke, 25, is a mathematics teacher at Tulip High School in Roodepoort on the West Rand.

He has a passion for numbers and passed matric in 1999 with distinctions in maths and physical science.

His results earned him a bursary to the University of Pretoria, where he studied electro-mechanical engineering. But disaster struck. In his second year of studies Moteke's sponsors decided to drop him.

"I do not know why they cancelled my funds because I was still getting distinctions."

The devastating disappointment was a turning point in his life and he spent two years doing nothing.

But Moteke then started informal mathematics classes for Grade 12 pupils after school hours, beginning with six students in his garage. The number of students attending his classes soon grew to 73 a week.

He was joined by Joseph Gumede and Thabang Motaung, unemployed matriculants from his suburb, who work as his assistants.

In 2003 Moteke, Gumede and Motaung included other subjects, charging students a modest R50 a month for all the courses.

Pupils were enjoying themselves and scoring good marks and his informal school grew so fast that Moteke had to find another garage.


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