EDUCATIONISTS and parents in Malamulele, Limpopo, have called for a Good Samaritan to assist Jito Mbedzani, 14, a mathematics whizz kid who does not have parents.
He was the star of the event held at the Copa Copa Luxury Lodge on Friday to announce the winners of the 2009 Mental Maths Competition hosted by the Department ofEducation.
Jito topped the 28 pupils from various schools who were awarded prizes in the competition.
Jito, who lives in the Mhingaville settlement, is a pupil at Rhangani Primary School.
He received two trophies and R350 from Hlamis, a local catering company that has also pledged to give uniforms to all the 28 award winners.
Eric Schollar, a Gauteng academic, started the mental maths project as part of a research project to look at the failure of pupils to cope with outcomes-basededucation (OBE).
His research resulted in this "back to the basics" approach.
Schollar said he was happy that the project had proved a success and hoped the government would apply it throughout SA, not just in the Vhembe district in Limpopo where it had been piloted.
He praised Jito and said his project had produced a gem. He said the boy had raw talent which when nurtured could see him go far in life.
"But he is poor with no parents and unless someone emerges to help him, he will not be able to achieve his potential."
He said the Schollar Foundation, along with the Zenex Foundation, began the competition with 30 schools and 6000 pupils and Jito came out tops.
Jito said his mother died in 2000 and he was living with relatives . He said he did not know his father.