Matric exams are in full swing, with learners across the country burrowing into their books for the last assessment of their school career. We dropped in on Robinvale High School in Atlantis in the Western Cape, where learners from nearby Witsand are flourishing despite challenging circumstances.
For matric learners at Robinvale High School, finding a suitable space to study for their exams outside of their school hours can be difficult. Many of the learners live in Witsand, an informal settlement close to the school, where adequate study facilities are scarce.
However, matriculants have taken to studying together at the Witsand Resource Centre. The centre is open from 08:00 to 20:00 every day, with the wi-fi hotspot allowing learners to access the internet.
Antonio Michaels, a teacher at Robinvale High School, says the facilities offered at the resource centre are minimal. “The resource centre is basically a structure. I would actually not use the word ‘resource’ for that centre, but it’s a place where the learners of Witsand come together to study.”
Dedication is rewarded
Michaels adds that the learners have shown determination to do well despite the obstacles they face. This is why the care package donations they received from Food For Mzansi are especially welcome.
“We as educators are quite impressed by the dedication of these kids. They are sitting from just after 12:00 to just before 20:00 every day and studying in that resource centre, which obviously means that they will get good results.”
For Liyema Nomdidi, the exams have been going well so far. Nomdidi was happy to receive the AgriCareers career guide as part of her care package, as she now has insight into the agricultural sector. “Now that I have the study guide, I can learn more and read about [agriculture]. I’m more informed now.”
She encourages other learners to make the best of their study time. “Just study guys, study hard. That’s all we can do. It’ll be worth it at the end of the day.”
Sinesethu Beme, another learner from the Witsand settlement, wants to go into the accounting field. The AgriCareers guide gave her new insight into the sector, making her think about it differently. “I [realise] that there are in-demand jobs, and I think it would benefit [us] if we go into that sector.”
The resource centre has been a shining light for Meli Nongena. He finds that having a space to study with his fellow learners has made his exams easier. “It helps to work with my peers because some of the things that I couldn’t understand, they could clarify for me. I can definitely say that is was very helpful to study at the resource centre with my peers.”
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