Mpumalanga matrics defy odds to be on national top achievers' list

Mandla Khoza Freelance journalist
Three pupils from the DD Mabuza Comprehensive School in Mpumalanga made it to the national top matric achievers for 2020.
Three pupils from the DD Mabuza Comprehensive School in Mpumalanga made it to the national top matric achievers for 2020.
Image: 123rf

The DD Mabuza Comprehensive School in Mpumalanga is a toast of the province after three pupils from the school made it to the national top matric achievers for 2020.

Peace Phangisa,18, Eric Mavimbela,19, and Mthobisi Hlathwayo,18, represent the province among the national best performers.

The school, named after deputy president David Mabuza, is the pride of the province despite most of its pupils being from poverty-stricken families. Mabuza is former MEC of education.

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The school is surrounded by farms and specialises in technical studies and agriculture. 

“In this school we work together, the school management team and the principal have got a very special working relationship which is transferred to the learners. We know we are a rural school; most of our children comes from poor backgrounds, but as the school, we make resources available for them so that they can achieve their full potential,” said school governing body chairperson John Nkuna. 

Phangisa told Sowetan he was over the moon for being named the country’s best learner in technical maths.

“I’m very happy for this, I’m over the moon, really. My aim was to make my school proud, my family and also raise the Phangisa family in the country. I would also like to thank my school and teachers for their support, though we learnt in difficult times of Covid-19. They made sure we don’t fail. I had also mastered the 3km walk from home to school and never wanted to fail,” said Phangisa. 

He said he is going to study towards electrical technology and power systems. 

Mavimbela, who came third in the country in technical science, said his single mother was his inspiration.

“It was hard with the pandemic, I had to adjust to make sure that my mind is free from Covid-19 stress. We also had to learn to support each other as classmates and share what we are doing. I’m going to study electrical engineering at Nelson Mandela University and my aim is to change the situation at home. I worked hard to make my mother proud as a single parent. She is trying by all means without a job,” said Mavimbela, whose elder brother also became the province’s top 10 learner in 2019. 

Mthobisi Hlatshwayo was named second best learner in technical maths. 

Mpumalanga MEC for education Bonakele Majuba has applauded the class of 2020 for defying all the odds and even representing the province in the national category. 

“You are special learners who refused to be defeated by Covid-19,” said Majuba.

Majuba said there’s still more to be done in the province in terms of improving e-learning which was exposed by the lockdown. 

“We can attribute these results to the unexpected situations that we faced, and in this I can say these learners are the best because we expected the worst, but they did good. The pandemic has shown that as a rural province there’s more that we need to do in terms of e-learning which we are behind on,” said Majuba. 

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