Lack of resources is no excuse for poor performance

Hard work has finally paid off for 18-year-old Nthako Molupe, who passed with flying colours from Beacon Secondary School. Coming from a rural area with many under-resourced schools did not damper Molupe’s spirits. Molupe will be pursuing a degree in Actuarial Science at the University of Cape Town.
One of Kagiso Trust’s programme schools, Beacon Secondary School is located in the Free State’s Thabo Mofutsanyana district where Kagiso Trust implemented its Beyers Naudé Schools Development Programme (BNSDP) from 2007 to 2015.
When the BNSDP was first implemented, none of the 46 secondary schools were achieving a 100% NSC pass rate. In 2017, the district has 10 schools which achieved 100%. The programme’s impact has been sustained by the district and the culture of excellence continues to be practiced by both learners and educators.  
Molupe shares his experiences of being a matriculant and what led to his success. 
What support did you get from home?
My support structure is solid; my parents are very supportive when it comes to education. Even though they are separated, they make sure I have everything I need for school.
What type of support did you receive from school?
My teachers were very understanding of my shortcomings and there were plenty of extra classes to support me.
What challenges did you face both academically and personally? And how did you overcome them?
My parents’ separation was hard to deal with at first, until they sat me down and spoke to me. They made it clear that nothing was my fault and that I should rather focus on my studies. Knowing that it was not my fault gave me confidence to continue performing.
Academically, I found Computer Application Technology to be very hard. We did not have enough resources to support us as learners. I overcame this by consulting with a peer who was good at the subject and managed to improve my mark. 
Do you think schools in rural areas are at a disadvantage compared to former model c schools?
Yes. Lack of resources are a disadvantage but definitely not an excuse for poor performance. Success depends on dedication, hard work and direction. I believe I have been recognised because of my performance and dedication to academic work.
What impact has the BNSDP had on you?
I attended a programme called Kutlwanong which had a great impact on my Physics and Mathematics results.
Did you apply for Kagiso Trust’s Eric Molobi Scholarship Programme?
No. By the time I found out about it was closed.
Do you think that university is for everyone?
No, I do not think university is for everyone. I think learners should look at what they are good at. Some leaners are good at practical training while others thrive with a theoretical approach. Leaners must rather focus on their strengths which will lead to success, whether it is university of TVET colleges.
What would you like to say to Kagiso Trust?
I would like for Kagiso Trust to continue the good work and help other future leaders who reside in rural areas around the country.
What message or tips do you have for the class of 2018? 
Future matriculates must be goal-orientated. Know and understand your priorities. Always be prepared for a test because one test can determine how your whole life turns out. And remember that hard work will be recognized. 

Learner Name: Nthako Molupe
Age: 18
School: The Beacon Secondary School
Subjects and 2017 NSC Results

  • Computer Application Technology – 71%
  • Mathematics – 92 %
  • Physical Sciences – 96%
  • Life Sciences – 86 %
  • English First Additional language – 80%
  • Sesotho Home Language – 79%
  • Life Orientation – 94%

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Date published: 
Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

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