The pressure of moving on to the next phase of young adulthood often leads to anxiety and stress for most learners.
This ultimately affects academic performance. One such learner whose social circumstances were almost a setback, is 19-year-old Emmanuel Mofammere who recently passed Grade 12 at Lenyora la Thuto Comprehensive School with five distinctions and his other marks bordering on the 80s.
His marks made him eligible for a bursary from the Free State Department of Education to study Astrophysics at the University of Cape Town.
While growing up, he attended different astronomy competitions and quizzes, which sparked his interest in the field. However, life has not been easy for Mofammere. Like many other learners from rural areas who face many socio-economic challenges, he was raised by his foster mother, who played a supportive role during his schooling years.
Education is the one tool that empowers children with the knowledge and skills necessary to advance themselves and their communities economically. One may easily neglect to consider the effects socio-economic factors have on early childhood development, right through to teenage years. Factors such as poverty, family income level and the parents’ level of education have an impact on the quality and availability of education within communities at large, causing inequality within schooling systems.
Although raised in such conditions, Mofammere, through Kagiso Shanduka Trust (KST) District Whole Schools Development Programme, was destined for success. Mofammere initiated an after-school camping programme where learners could stay after school to form study groups and peer-to-peer tutoring groups among Grade 12 learners leading up to the National Senior Certificate examinations. He is now an inspiration to his peers and is one bright young mind to look out for.
“It wasn’t an easy journey,” says Mofammere. “Our parents, educators and the principal played an important part in ensuring that we were all fed and safe while studying at our school’s premises.”