Peggy Matima didn't pass her matric, but she died trying. Her determination is an example to all.
She died on November 5, the day she was supposed to write the second paper in physical science. Peggy succumbed to a particularly nasty kidney disease.
Her ambition to study dentistry at Wits University might have been thwarted, but Peggy never gave up.
She was one of those kids whose academic brilliance inspires parents but often fosters resentment among peers. But that is not what sets her apart.
Peggy's single-minded determination to complete her matric with distinction though she was dying inspires awe and respect.
As do the battle-scarred kids of the political battleground in Khutsong.
In a move of inspired brilliance, North West province moved 450 of the country's least privileged students to a campus in Taung 300km away. There children who had not received a day of education this year were motivated and instructed by a team of the best teachers the province could muster. And they responded with a plethora of distinctions.
These examples show that our children are not the problem, but our faulty system.
Dedicated teachers and a healthy environment give hope to even the most underprivileged students. Blame the system for its failures, not the kids.