Dzanani, Nzhelele- Limpopo grade 12 candidates seemed eagerly ready for their final year examinations when MEC for Education in the province, Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya joined by the Hod Ms. Onica Dederen, parents/guardian and other education stakeholders during the pledge signing ceremony that took place at Makhado CPD Centre (former Makhado College of Education) on Friday, 20 October 2023. Over 1000 candidates from six (6) secondary schools under Vhembe West Education District were in attendance.

The purpose of pledge signing is to assist with the curbing and control of examination irregularities. Candidates were asked to read and sign a pledge stating that they will uphold the principles of honesty and integrity in the examination.  They pledged to comply with all the examination rules that discourage things such as using unauthorized notes and getting assistance from a fellow learner or an invigilator.

“As you are all aware that during the examination, one need to be mentally healthy when sitting for an exam, and we are also observing mental health this October, under the theme: Mental Health is a Universal right. Students need to be mentally ready so that you cope with the stress that comes with the examination,” said Mr. Richard Hlungwani, Limpopo Department of Health.

Oratile Maitisa, an actress (also known as Eunice from the TV series Skeem Saam) took to the podium to give words of encouragement. “This is your last chance to prove to yourself and make a promise to yourself that is this is a moment which is going to open each and every channel that you want in life, whatever you want to do, you need to have the fire and the drive in you, so that we can believe in you as well. For you to have the support around you, you need to convince us that you can do it. You are only left with nine (days) to write your examinations, please focus.”

 When addressing the learners, MEC Lerule-Ramakhanya said the Limpopo 2023 Matric class is going to be condemned by their backgrounds and personal circumstances. The MEC emphasized learners must be proud of their geographical location and it must never count as a disadvantage.

She said somebody had to live and stay in the rural and remote area according to the geographical map and learners must change that narrative and show the whole of South Africa and the world that coming from the rural setup does not define them.

MEC further indicates that in taking the pledge, nine days before the exams starts, over 94 000 full time candidates will be writing, so are you not alone. When the stars are up there, there are just those stars that will shine better than the other as a way of showing confidence in them.  “Being 94 000, you can still be that star that is shining better than the other. When you light in your own corner, you are lighting your own change and development”, The MEC concluded.  

Ms Makungu Ntsumele, the grade 11 RCL President in the Vhembe West district and Treasury of the province, encouraged her seniors to grasp the opportunity with two hands and make the best out of it.

 “Be a person who is passionate and a go-getter. Failure is not the end of the road; it is just a big red sign that is showing you that you are going the wrong way and you must turn. As a grade 12 candidate, set your own goal and know that this is what you want to be, and this is what you want to get. As a grade 12 learner, when you encounter a difficult situation, it is either you let it define you, or to destroy you. If you are a candidate, you have to let it bring out the best in you” Said Ntsumele.  

Prior the pledge signing occasion, MEC Lerule-Ramakhanya joined by both Waterberg District Municipality and Lephalale Local Municipality officials, Exxaro Mine and Old Mutual during Spring Enrichment Monitoring Camps as well as the 2023 matric Last Push at Mabalane Seleka Technical High school in Lephalale following an official launch of matric countdown late last month in Mopani East Education District.

“I am looking forward to accompanying some of you to Johannesburg to meet Minister Angie Motshekga when She awards the best National performers. Waterberg must be counted amongst the best and I trust you to make it happen.

“As I conclude, I want you to take the following tips into consideration. It will help you as you finalize your revision; stay away from social media and focus on your studies.

You will have enough time to socialize after the exams, study in groups so that you can help each other where you are struggling, nobody is perfect, don’t stress yourself and consume energy drinks and other forms of boosters. Be true to yourself and rely on your natural strength and get enough time to rest, sleep when you are tired and wake up on time”, Cautioned MEC”.


By Ndivhuwo Mukhada