Giyani — Two Limpopo girls started the new year on an exceptional note as they each bagged seven distinctions in the 2012 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, whose overall results were announced on Wednesday by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
The province's matric pass rate also rose to 66.9% from 63.9% in 2011, dispelling speculation that the delay in the delivery of textbooks to schools in the province (which only affected grades 1, 2, 3 and 10) would affect matric results. Of the 77 360 pupils who sat for the final exams, 51 745 passed. Of these, 15 324 qualify for university entrance.
Ponani Mabunda, who is matriculating from Nkwangulatilo Education Centre in Giyani, attributed her success to her school and parents.
"Honestly, I give the thumbs-up to our school because we had everything that a Grade 12 learner should have and even more."
She said her parents also gave her much needed support.
"My parents also support me very well and make sure that they provide a conducive environment for me to study in so that things like TV don't disturb me," she explained.
Ponani got distinctions in Xitsonga, English, Mathematics, Life Orientation, Agricultural Sciences, Life Sciences and Physical Science.
She intends to study medicine at the University of Stellenbosch.
Belinda Likhwaimana, 18, from Thengwe Secondary School in Mutale near Thohoyandou, also got seven distinctions.
"I worked very hard from the beginning of the year until the last day of our exams. I never had time to play as I attended morning classes from 6:30am and afternoon classes until 5:30pm. I also attended special classes on Saturday and Sundays just to make sure that I get distinctions in all subjects," she said.
Belinda said her biggest inspiration was her father, Khathutshelo, who teaches history at the same school.
"He always tells me that I must work hard ..." she said.
During 2012, Belinda was always in the top three of 287 matric pupils at Thengwe, which is a Dinaledi School that focuses on maths and science.
Belinda, who did Accounting, Economics, Mathematics, Physical Science, Tshivenda, English and Life Orientation said she was ready to face new challenges at the University of Cape Town, where she will study B.Com Accounting.