Free State’s Top Accounting Learner Achieves 100%
Instead of sleeping late and watching TV, 200 matric learners attended the recent Free State Thuthuka Development Camp, held at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein. They spent the last week of the school holidays (10 to 16 July 2016) in class where they were given additional academic support in mathematics, communication, science and accounting. They also benefited from career guidance and life skills tutoring.
On the last day of the camp, SAICA, the Free State Department of Education, UFS and the AGSA congratulated the following learners for achieving top marks:
- Nwabisa Mdladlamba (100%)
- Mudzwani Ndivhuho (85%)
- Ntlankanipho Mtshaki (78%)
- Physical science:
- Tefo Motaung (80%)
- Mopeli Moka (80%)
- Toka Monareng (80%)
- Palesa Mollo (93%)
- Rethabile Motsoaneng (87%)
- Tefo Motaung (85%)
According to Gugu Makhanya, SAICA Senior Executive for Transformation, ‘the goal of SAICA’s provincially-run Thuthuka camps is to improve the educational standards of maths, science and accounting for disadvantaged learners in the province. For SAICA, this project is also instrumental in helping the institute overcome barriers to transformation within the accountancy profession.’
Lerato Mokorotlo, a chartered accountant (CA[SA]) and the guest speaker at the camp’s award ceremony, is living proof of this.
Hailing from Botshabelo, a township roughly 60km from Bloemfontein, Mokorotlo says he owes his success ‘to the wakeup call I got at this camp.’
‘I found myself at the Free State Thuthuka camp in 2005 when I was doing Gr 11,’ he told this year’s participant. ‘Today I work at the Auditor-General of South Africa because I feel that I have the opportunity to actually give back to my community and the country at large.… But it all started here. I learnt a lot of valuable lessons from this camp in 2005.’
One of the most important things he took away from the Thuthuka camp is that one should never be complacent. ‘At this camp, you get a lot of talented people, you start to realise that you need to wake and start working harder than you were working before. You start learning that you can’t benchmark yourself with the people you left back home…. I was the best at my school but when I got to the camp, I was humbled, I was not the best. So I went back home, I studied very, very hard and, in 2006, I found myself in the top 100 matric learners in the Free State province. I owe that to this camp,’ Mokorotlo continued.
His message was reiterated by Mrs B Tshabalala, the Acting Chief Director of the Free State Department of Education. She told camp learners that she believes the camp had taken ‘these learners from level seven (80%-89%) to level nine (100%). She also thanked SAICA and its fellow sponsors for ’taking to heart your responsibility to make sure that you turn around these young minds and mould them to be the best in the country. In the Education Department we try to make sure that every child reaches his or her dream. But we cannot do it alone, education is a societal matter. We need everybody who has an interest in education to bring their side.’
She also urged the matrics present to go back to their schools and show their peers that it can be done. ‘Be responsible and take charge of your future by doing well in your exams.’
Kobus Swanepoel, Head of Department at UFS’ Centre for Accounting, added his encouragement by reading extracts from Thuthuka’s 101 stories of success: ‘This book tells the stories of the many social ills that we read about every day, derailing the noblest goals that young people may have.’ But, he adds, there is always hope: ‘Programmes like this are about transforming lives and inspiring excellence. Become the best you that you can be and strive for excellence.’