Johannesburg - With less than two weeks to go before this year's matric final exams, learners in Gauteng on Tuesday enjoyed a visit from Education MEC Barbara Creecy, who spread good cheer and words of encouragement for what is undoubtedly a defining moment in thousands of youngsters' lives.
"This is the final push, it's not about the body, it's about the mind... If you are not writing on that day, you must have time for personal study and get a study buddy," said the MEC on Tuesday during a visit to the matric final examination preparation camp in Fun Valley, Eldorado Park.
Learners were bussed from different schools to Fun Valley to attend revision classes that are part of the Secondary School Improvement Programme (SSIP).
SSIP provides Grade 12 learners with extra classes on Saturdays and during school holidays. The purpose of the camp is to prepare learners for the finals and take them through past exam papers.
The camp accommodates 230 learners from different schools in the Eldorado Park area.
Creecy challenged learners to aim beyond what they thought they were capable of. However, she had a strong message for learners who don't know how to separate play from study time: no partying until the exams are over.
When interacting with Creecy, learners were confident and without hesitation claimed they would get distinctions - a feat that would make their schools proud and boost the provincial pass rate.
The MEC urged learners to collect their results from their schools when they are released, even if they do not perform well as they had expected.
"If you get disappointed, we will help you and still be with you. Don't do anything silly. If you feel down, call Lifeline because we have a partnership with them.
"Later, you will remember this time you've spent here and it's going to help you through tough times. This country needs tough people who are not afraid of tough times, people who have courage," Creecy said.
Learner Kimberley Moyo, from Wiseman Cele Secondary School, thanked Creecy for the visit. She was confident the matric class of 2012 would fare well.
"After your [Creecy] speech, we will not disappoint you because we know you are helping us. Everyone here can say that our aim is to get a 100% pass rate," said Moyo.
She said the camp had a positive impact on all Grade 12 learners attending classes.
The Wiseman Cele Secondary School will be producing its first batch of matriculants this year. - SAnews.gov.za