Three learners from DD Mabuza Comprehensive School in Tonga have made it to the national top matric achievers for the year 2020. Peace Phangisa,18, Eric Mavimbela,19, and Mthobisi Hlathwayo,18, are among those representing the province in the national best performers.
This is despite the fact that most of the learners from this school, which is named after deputy president David Mabuza, are from poverty-stricken families. The school is also surrounded by farms and specialises in technical studies and agriculture.
The chairperson of DD Mabuza’s school governing body, John Nkuna said the school management team and the principal work together and that they have 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 a school, we make resources available for them so that they can achieve their full potential,” said Nkuna.
Phangisa said he was over the moon for being named the country’s best learner in technical maths. He said he is very happy and that his aim was to make his school and his family proud and to raise the Phangisa family name in the country.
“I would also like to thank my school and my 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. I am going to study electrical technology and power systems,” said Phangisa.
Mavimbela, who came third in the country in technical science, said his single mother was his inspiration. He said learning was hard during the Covid-19 pandemic and that he had to make sure that his mind is free from the Covid-19 related stress. He added together with his classmates, they had to learn to support each other and work together.
“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. He said they are special learners who refused to be defeated by Covid-19. Majuba added that there’s still more to be done in the province in terms of improving e-learning.
“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.