Nzhelele - Limpopo's MEC for Public Works, George Phadagi, has urged Grade 12 learners at Mphephu High School near Nzhelele in Makhado to take their education seriously so that the school can improve its matric results.
Phadagi is on a two-day-long "surprise visit" to six schools in Makhado to encourage learners in the province to tackle their studies in earnest from day one of the 2010 school year.
He said he was concerned by the fact that the school's matric pass rate had fallen from 51 percent in 2008 to 45 percent last year, despite receiving a R5-million revamp in 2003.
"We want this school to be one of the better performing schools in the province because the government has built modern classes for you. Learners must be committed and enthusiastic with their school work so that the school can get better results," said Phadagi.
He said learners could take encouragement and inspiration from prominent former students at the school, such as the former editor-in-chief of City Press, Mathatha Tsedu, and the former Chief Executive Officer of the Government Communication and Information System, Joel Netshitenze, who both matriculated in the '70s.
Phadagi said his department was the delivery arm of the government, responsible for building and refurbishing schools, and urged the community to take care of both its pupils and schools.
"The department is also offering bursaries for studies in much-needed areas such as engineering, and we urge learners to apply," he said.
The school's principal, Maligana Lukhwareni, blamed its poor performance on a lack of commitment to their studies among learners.
"We are very disappointed by the poor results but we will improve. We will encourage our learners to take maths and science seriously for a quality education," Lukhwareni said.