The Guard

The Truth On Board


By Libuseng Nyaka

QWAQWA – Despite the challenge of losing three months of learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic, poor access to the internet and inability to purchase data like other privileged learners, Malerole Phalatsi (18) of Mohato Senior Secondary still managed to bag six distinctions.

Sharing her journey to success,Phalatsi who was among the top 100 learners that were honoured by education MEC Dr Tate Makgoe, said she was so determined that not even Covid-19 could stop her. 

Mohato Senior Secondary Principal Lekhetho Mosikatsana and Masetjhaba Mokoena holding up a top achiever Maleroele Phalatsi.

“I gave it my all; I spend sleepless nights studying because I had set myself a goal of becoming a medicine practitioner and I know the course is very demanding. I am so relieved that my hard work has paid off,” said the aspiring doctor.

She said to prepare for her future career, she has already learned a thing or two from Dr Mbatha who she worked under while waiting for the results.

“I am not afraid of wounds and I like bringing smiles to people; that can only be achieved by looking after the sick and vulnerable.

She said she has already been offered space at both Wits University and Pretoria University, and hers is just to weigh her option before deciding which school to go to.

Her mother Masetjhaba Mokoena (42), who attended the congratulatory event at Mohato, said her daughter’s performance did not only make her proud, but also come as a relief.

“Her father and I are both unemployed; we cannot even afford to pay for her registration fees. We were thinking of getting a loan while waiting for the National Students Financial Aid Scheme. But with her results, she is spoiled for choice in terms of bursaries. There are many bursary offers lined up.”

Commenting on the results, school principal Lekhetho Mosikatsana, shared the strategy they used to assist learners during the difficult time of working under the new normal.

“Our strategy was to invest many hours of extra teaching; we also have WhatsApp groups in order to reach learners and share information, despite challenges such as sometimes not having enough data. This meant we had to dig into our pockets to buy data bundles to continue with our work. We were faced with many challenges due to being in a rural area, particularly where electricity is almost off every day. We tried to help them and most of them had to depend on their books because some of the people they live with were Covid-19 positive and they had to stay home but we soldiered on. That’s why I am saying I am proud of this girl for making it to the top 100.”

In celebratory mood Education MEC Dr Tate Makgoe and Free State top achievers.

Meanwhile Premier Sefora Ntombela has congratulated the Free State matric class of 2020 on their achievements.

Ntombela said the achievements of the class of 2020, given the challenges that they were faced with, have to be celebrated. The outbreak of the COVID-19 in South Africa almost a year ago, which has claimed 3 107 lives up to this point, put a lot of strain on the learners as their schooling programme had to be altered to shield them from the harm posed by the virus.

The Premier also heaped praises on MEC Makgoe who managed to make provice proud again by defending spot one five times in the past eight years.

“Our province is correctly known across the country as the home of champions and that is all thanks to MEC Makgoe and his team of dedicated officials for a job well done. I would also like to thank and congratulate the parents for supporting the children in what was certainly a difficult year, where we had to deal with a wrecking ball known as COVID-19. Most importantly, I would like to congratulate our brilliant learners for a job well done. My message to them is that the world is their oyster, and they must simply spread their wings and fly,” Ntombela said.

Weighing in, Map16, coordinator Azael Nhlapo saluted MEC Makgoe.

“He knows his stuff. We would also want to congratulate all who deserve the honours, particularly in the eastern Free State ‘s Thabo Mofutsanyana district, for taking second spot after Fezile Dabi District. You guys have outperformed yourselves in the province and Free State was announced victorious again.