14 March 2019 Volume :7 Issue :6

UKZN Continues Schools Liaison Activities

UKZN Continues Schools Liaison Activities
Mr Sbusiso Hlongwa (pictured at the podium) from UKZN addresses learners at the Mandla Mthethwa School of Excellence.

Learners at the Mandla Mthethwa School of Excellence, a state-of-the-art rural school in eNdumo, northern KwaZulu-Natal, were motivated to work harder after learning about the different courses on offer at UKZN.

Mr Sbusiso Hlongwa of the University’s Corporate Relations Division delivered a talk to Grade 8 and 9 learners at the school and distributed information on different fields of study.

The R298-million school is the first such institution to be built in a rural area and was officially opened late last year. A fee-paying school that is surrounded by no-fee schools, it has 45 classrooms, three workshops, three laboratories, a library, a well-equipped media centre, a multi-purpose classroom, a dining hall, swimming pool, boarding facilities and many other amenities.

After a short presentation Hlongwa responded to a volley of questions, including whether it is possible to change one’s field of study after the first-year and whether a student who receives a bursary would retain it if he/she obtained lower marks than in the first-year of study.

Grade 9 learner, Miss Lihle Mngomezulu, 13, said she learnt that, in order for students to maintain momentum, working hard should start at school.

‘Mr Hlongwa educated us on what we should focus on, how to choose our subjects for the field we choose to study and how to get into university,’ said Mngomezulu.

Miss Bongeka Ndlovu, 13, would like to pursue a career in Engineering or Science. She said that she learnt that learners should research what courses different universities offer; otherwise they might find themselves doing something they don’t want to do.

Mr Sambulo Nxumalo, 14, said that he obtained information on how to apply to university and how to get information on the course he is interested in.

School Principal, Dr Bhekisisa Mthabela, praised Hlongwa for his informative presentation and said he would like to see learners from his school pursuing tertiary education and giving back to the community.

‘This is the deepest rural area in KwaZulu-Natal and the community are the poorest of the poor.

The provincial legislature together with corporate organisations decided to offer learners from rural areas the same opportunities and education that is offered at some of the popular high schools in the city.

‘We want to help learners to be able to compete on the same level. We also need medical doctors, engineers, pilots and construction companies here. We push our learners to work hard and set high standards. We are preparing them for 2022 and beyond,’ said Mthabela.

Words and photographs: Taschica Pillay 

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