One hundred and thirty candidates, selected from those in the area who failed matric last year, have been offered the opportunity to try again through supplementary exams thanks to a joint initiative by Gadra Education and Rhodes University.
The supplementary exams start on 10 February and end on 17 March. Gadra Education manager Ashley Westaway and Rhodes University Vice-Chancellor (VC), Dr Sizwe Mabizela, together with other stakeholders, met with the chosen learners at the Joza Youth Hub last Friday.
Addressing the pupils and their parents who packed the room, Mabizela said he wanted to thank Westaway, volunteering teachers and students who are driving the programme.
“My wish is for you to succeed and make a contribution to Grahamstown. Rhodes is committed to working together with the community. We have a very important role to play,” said Mabizela. He said they should grab this opportunity with both hands and told them that they had been selected specifically because they were seen as having the potential to succeed. Mabizela pleaded with the pupils to study very hard and go through their work thoroughly.
“When you come to class in the morning you must ask questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question. We believe you have what it takes to succeed.
“By the time the supplementary exam comes, you must be ready. Your success is ours, the community’s and your family’s. We want Grahamstown to succeed and that will be because of you.
“Don’t do things like drugs, even if there is someone who is distracting you in your life. Put that person aside,” he said.
“If you do well, we will be happy to take you at Rhodes University or even if you go to another institution we will support you,” concluded Mabizela.
Westaway explained to the pupils how the programme has been structured. He also urged them to study hard.
“Self study is a very important component. You must be very focused over the next four weeks and study effectively,” said Westaway.
Ingram Alexander who studied at Mary Waters and is one of the pupils in the programme said he was glad that they had been given a second chance to prove themselves.
“I want to use this opportunity. I want to say thank you for all the support that we’re getting and I want to reassure people we won’t disappoint them.”
By Loyiso Dyongman
Photo: Anele Mjekula
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