Hundreds of prospective students from the rural municipalities of Nkandla and uMthonjaneni in northern KwaZulu-Natal have been rewarded with assistance such as bursaries, registration grants and laptops.
The municipalities each held separate events to honour learners who excelled in last year’s matric examinations.
The top four high schools in Nkandla, eMabhuqwini, Bizimali, Velangaye and Lushaba produced over 500 distinctions.
Bizimali came out tops with three learners achieving eight distinctions, and five others getting seven.
Hot on their heels was Velangaye with two learners getting eight distinctions and one achieving seven.
These are no- fee schools with some lacking basic infrastructure and services such as electricity and running water.
Top 10 learners were awarded with bursaries and laptops.
One of them is 19-year-old Nhlakanipho Majozi from Mphathesithe High School, who has registered for a degree in Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
“The bursary will help me study Medicine at UKZN. I needed registration money badly so that I would be accepted. I am coming from a poor family. Once I complete my studies I will be able to provide for my family and be a breadwinner.”
eMabhuqwini, Velangaye, Bizimali and Lushaba schools were also recognised for consistently maintaining pass rates between 80 and 97 percent in recent years.
Just over 100 prospective university students from these schools walked off with registration grants.
Thamsanqa Moloi from Ithala High School says this will be of great help, as she is being raised by a single parent. “After completing my studies I will be able to make her happy. My mother was paying 300 rand a month for my accommodation at the school.”
Aubey Mtshali says: “The registration grant will help me a lot, because I am coming from a family that is not well-off. I am going to study dental therapy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.”
This assistance has been running for four years.
Nkandla Municipal Mayor Thamisanqa Ntuli says they are hoping to see returns on their investment in education in the area.
“When you invest in education definitely you change the livelihood of the area. When you go to the most remote you find the most beautiful house,s which you cannot find even in townships, because of the investments that have been made through education. So I also believe that this is not a loss. In fact to us as the municipality we are going to yield the results very soon. Already some are working, and we know that they are going to change the face of Nkandla.”
The four top schools in Nkandla will also soon have Wi-Fi access, thanks to the good performance of the schools’ 2017 matriculants.