IT was a night of the stars in the education sector in Tzaneen, Limpopo, when pupils, teachers and circuit managers who excelled in 2016 were honoured by local municipal mayor Maripe Mangena.
The Mayor’s Excellence Awards were created to motivate schools in the area to improve their performance.
Speaking at the glittering ceremony on Wednesday, Mangena reminded teachers, parents, pupils, government officials and businessmen in attendance to prioritize the improvement of the entire public schooling system, and matric results in particular.
Mangena quoted the late ANC leader, Oliver Tambo, whom he said was a Physical Science and Mathematics teacher: “A country that does not take care of its youth does not deserve its future”.
Mangena said the municipality has assisted 110 students to register in institutions of higher learning through the Mayor’s Student Financial Aid Scheme (MSFAS). Out of the 11 honoured learners, four benefited from MSFAS.
He said the municipality planned to budget R1m to assist students in 2018.
Mangena also gave an award of “The Best Performing Learner Per Circuit From An Independent School” which went to Cindy Mabuza (94%) from St George College in the Nkowankowa circuit.
He also bestowed honours on teachers from public schools who achieved 100% pass rate in Accounting, Mathematics and Physical Science.
Shiluvane and Khujwana circuits were honoured for being their improvement in performance. Shiluvane improved from 74.4% in 2015 to 74.9% in 2016, and Khujwana was at 64.5% in 2015 and improved to 70% in 2016.
Nkowankowa circuit won the category of the Best Circuit based on pupils’ enrolment of 500 and above. The circuit had 1045 learners who wrote the 2016 matric examination and achieved a 74.9% pass rate.
All honoured pupils received a laptop while teachers and circuit managers were awarded engraved trophies, 1vouchers and other goodies.