Brakpan can be proud of two shining matric stars who received recognition for their achievements by the Gauteng Department of Education.
Chiemeka Iroka from Brakpan High School and Lisa Verryne from Muriel Brand School were among Gauteng learners who were honoured at an event last Friday.
The occasion, which was held to formally announce Gauteng’s 2021 matric results, took place at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg with Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi in attendance.
Deserving matriculants from all over Gauteng were also acknowledged for excelling in the classroom. Verryne was announced as the top LSEN learner (Learners with Special Educational Needs) in Gauteng.
The 18-year-old Brenthurst resident received a full bursary from the Gauteng City-Region Academy Bursary Programme to study at any university and pursue any degree of her choice.
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She was also awarded a laptop and electronic goods, monthly data from Telkom and a cash amount.
Verryne was Muriel Brand School’s top 2021 matric achiever and obtained distinctions in English, mathematical literacy, tourism and computer applications technology.Hearing her name announced as the top LSEN learner at the event was a big surprise for Verryne.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” she said.
The bubbly teenager is, however, not resting on her laurels. She is working two jobs to save up for university expenses and hopes to buy a car.
Asked how she achieved such brilliant grades, Verryne told the Herald she started preparing for the final exams well in advance.
“I would then cover several pages per day and studied every day.”
Along with the stress of the final year of school, matric learners over the last two years have had to deal with the pandemic threat hanging over them.
Verryne said there was also the fear that another lockdown would take place, which would have added to the pressure.
“Thankfully, that didn’t happen, but I don’t think I worked harder than any other matriculant from previous years,” she said.
Verryne wants to study computer science or information technology and hopes to become a software developer.She advised this year’s Grade 12 learners to not procrastinate, stay determined and to not let anyone or anything bring them down.
“Believe in yourself and you can achieve anything,” she added.
Diligent and focused, Brakpan High’s leader of the matric pack obtained seven distinctions. Iroka (17), who lives in Brakpan Central, obtained 88% in English, Afrikaans, physical science and mathematics, 92% in geography and 95% in life orientation.
It was his spectacular result of 100% for history for which he was recognised at the event and was named as one of the top history learners in the province.
As with Verryne, Iroka wasn’t expecting his award.
“It was really exciting and a surprise. I got to enjoy the fruits of my labour,” he said.
He told the Herald he started preparing for final exams earlier than most of his peers.
“I started at the beginning of last year, probably from around February or March. With repetition, studying just becomes a habit.
“I practised with past subject papers just to get the feel of it and see how they phrased the questions. This also helped with time management during the exams.”
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As for his outstanding history grades, Iroka remarked, “It was by God’s grace but I also had a very good history teacher. History has been my favourite subject and I think my final results reflect that.”
Iroka’s matric journey was probably unlike many others with him describing it as ‘not that stressful’. He believes, however, that the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 had an impact on the Class of 2021 as it interrupted their schooling as Grade 11s.
“I do think it had a knock-on effect,” he said.
Although he thinks he could have excelled more in English and mathematics, Iroka is pleased with his results overall.
“I could have pushed myself more and worked a bit harder,” he said.
After acing his exams, Iroka’s future is looking bright, and he plans to study civil engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand.He is looking for a bursary and financial assistance to help him reach this goal.