Tertiary institutions have opened for registration of new students. Learners, especially from rural areas, who passed well in 2019 have committed to ploughing back to their communities after their studies.

Some learners went to school without having a meal and walked long distances.

Phumanyova High School at KwaNongoma, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, has made headlines for the past three years for producing 100%  matric pass rate.

Owethu Mpinga is one of the learners, who got five distinctions. He now aims to study further and return to serve his community after finishing his degree.

“I am very proud of myself because I sat down and realise what is needed in life because I took the decision that I needed to finish school. Right now, I got my Bachelor pass and I am proud of it as I will now be able to further my studies at a tertiary institution.”

Nhlanhla Ziqubu, from Ndlelanhle School at Nondweni in the greater Nquthu area, got five As. He is planning to study Radiography at Durban University Technology.

Ziqubu says the time will come for his rural community to enjoy the benefits of his education.

“I wish to always be part of my family and the entire society. I will be studying Radiography and when I get my degree I will come back to my community and work at the local hospital and help the elders.”

Sabelo Shabalala, who was raised by a single mother at Etholeni area in Ladysmith, got 7 distinctions. He’ll study towards a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Gauteng. He says he’s willing to help develop local businesses and encourage entrepreneurship.

“I am willing to come back and invest in my community and develop businesses and make things transparent and empower local people. I want to open opportunities, especially to the youth by opening more jobs. Young people must work very hard as education is key to success.”

Principal at Phumanyova High School at KwaNongome, Zibuse Ncala says learners must focus on achieving good results and stay away from harmful substances that can destroy their chances of success.

“Hard work, punctuality – that has been our motto and we must carry it to shine wherever they are. Drugs and substance are the issues that we have been dealing with trying to address and they must stay away from drugs.”

KwaNongoma local municipality mayor, Albert Mncwango, says the municipality is assisting learners to focus on their studies.

“As the municipality, we are extremely happy and we are definitely sure that we are going to benefit in terms of skills that will actually come out of learners who have performed. We are actually having an ongoing programme we assist learners at primary level who come from extremely poor families with school uniforms and other learning materials.”

Mncwango municipality also offers bursaries to learners who don’t have funding to study further.

“We have also another programme whereby we assist students with enrolment fee as it is a measure problem, especially from children poor families. We assist more than 100 learners to register. We have also full bursary scheme to those learners who actually excelled in commerce, agriculture and town planning etc.”