DP Ramaphosa ignites greatness in learners

Pretoria – When the Deputy President of the country tells you “You are the future of South Africa”, you know you have your work cut out for you, even if it’s only the first day of school.

When you are learner at Phehellang Secondary School, this great charge from Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, daunting as it might seem, is nothing less than what your community has come to expect.

The matric class of 2016 from this school situated in Parys, Free State, scored a 100% pass rate – an affirmation of the standard set by the class before them. A 100% pass rate two years in a row is a commendable feat for the school, which rose from just 47.2% in 2009.

The Free State province as a whole attained a 93.2% matric pass rate in the 2016 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations against a 76.2% national pass rate. The bar has been raised and hopes are high that this year’s matric class at Phehellang will pull off a hat-trick.

Deputy President Ramaphosa visited Phehellang as thousands of schools in some parts of the country opened their doors to learners for the 2017 academic year.

He impressed upon the school the importance of maintaining the momentum and pushing even harder to achieve outstanding results.

“The entire government of the Republic of South Africa is working to ensure you have a great future. Your teachers are doing phenomenal work,” he said on Wednesday.

The Deputy President congratulated the principal, teachers, parents and learners for achieving consistently good results. He also commended Free State Premier Ace Magashule and Education MEC Tate Makgoe on the excellent performance of the province in the face of significant challenges.

He said Phehellang Secondary has done what many had considered impossible.

Deputy President Ramaphosa urged the learners to work hard and believe in themselves.

“Education is the one thing that improves your lives and your family. It is the one thing that can give you a better life, a better career and a better future.”

He urged learners to develop the habit of reading. “Make books your friends. By reading, you will always find new knowledge.”

Deputy President Ramaphosa said progress in education is only possible through effective collaboration between all stakeholders.

Phehellang is one of over 200 schools in the Fezile Dabi and Motheo Districts in the Free State that are part of the Kagiso Shanduka Trust programme, a partnership between the private sector and the Free State Department of Education to improve schools mainly in townships and rural areas.

Phehellang has benefited from this programme through curriculum support, leadership development and ongoing infrastructure provision in the form of a library, a life sciences building and ablution facilities. - SAnews.gov.za