The Vaal University of Technology Khula Weekend School Centre (VUT KWS) hosted the Annual Awards Ceremony on Saturday, 21 January 2017 at the Vanderbijlpark campus. Bishop Mzizi from the St John’s Apostolic Church of Prophecy, opened the awards ceremony with a prayer. This is an annual event which aims at celebrating outstanding achievements in Matric and also acknowledging learners that performed well in their studies in Grade 10 and 11.
Top achiever (Matric Class of 2016), Ms Nthabiseng Molefe, walked away with a bursary of R20 000 from Nedbank during the awards ceremony as she received four distinctions in Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Economics, and got a merit pass in English. Other achievers each received R15 000 and R10 000 financial assistance from De Beers Group.
Professor Kuzvinetsa Dzvimbo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic & Research at VUT, gave a keynote address and encouraged learners to excel in their studies, remain determined and focused in order to achieve their dreams. He appreciated the presence and support from parents and challenged them to study too.
Ms Lerato Mahakoe (5th year Medical Student at Wits) and Ms Mpho Radebe (2nd year Biotechnology Student at VUT) as beneficiaries of KWS were also invited to be part of the event and to share their varsity experiences with the award recipients so they know what to expect and how to behave at their respective universities.
The Principal of Suncrest High School, Mr Mtungwa Dlamini explained the importance of commitment at high school level and urged learners to choose friends carefully and to always be hungry for success. He gave the learners tips as to how they can achieve good grades by believing in themselves, attending regularly, find role models, expose themselves to standardise assessments and time management and have a culture of values. He advised them to be focused and take responsibility, urging them to obtain their tertiary education, come back and add value to society. He said “for you to pass, there are things you need to sacrifice that is: cutting bad friends, stay away from drugs, stay away from negative attitudes, stop being fake, get rid of stubbornness and poor work ethics”.
The motivational speaker of the day Dr Lesego Moitsheki, Research Scientist: Optimisation Research & T Coal and Environmental Research SASOL added to what the principal had said and stimulated a culture of doing something different and make fundamental decision that will help to shape their future.
A student from Suncrest High School shared what he learnt and said “I believe that the beauty of this life is about choice” and Mrs Doreen Radebe one of the parents advised parents to trust in God and He will do the rest and also be able to speak and support their children.
The CEO of De Beers Group, Mr Phillip Burton hosted a celebratory session for top achievers in Matric Class of 2016 from all three KWS centres (VUT, UJ and Tembisa) on Monday, 16 January 2017. Each learner was accompanied by their parents who expressed their gratitude for the support and motivation that the learners enjoyed from the school. Ms Kediemetse Mokotsi, who was the programme director, reiterated what Mr Burton mentioned in his address on Monday, 16th January 2017”I would like to pay tribute to the fellow colleagues who were instrumental in initiating this programme by helping their children and class mates at home in somebody’s garage and/or the lounge with Maths and Science. We appreciate their efforts which have borne these positive fruits”. Ms Mokotsi mention three names that she know which the CEO referred to, namely: Mr Mphoya Thobela, Corporate Affairs Superintendent (De Beers Group), Mr Tshepo Monaledi, Enterprise Development Manager (De Beers Group) and Mr Blessing Zwane (former lecturer at UJ). She further mentioned that they did this because they were committed to changing lives of black children through education, they later approached De Beers foundation for funding and this is how the KWS was formed. He also advised students never to stop learning in order to stay relevant in life. All speakers emphasised self-respect, discipline, clear direction and humility. Prof Maurice Ndege, Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Technology thanked De Beers for what they are doing to shape the young stars. He also appreciated the presence of parents in the lives of their children because discipline is the centre of their good behaviour.
This great achievement is largely through a partnership that was launched by De Beers Group and VUT on the 26th of March 2012 for the sole purpose of assisting the Grade 10, 11 and 12 learners to improve their marks in the following subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Accounting, Economics, English and Life Sciences. Since inception, the school has produced medical practitioners, Chartered Accountants, Engineers, Mathematicians, scientists, etc. who are part of the teaching staff and mentors for the programme.