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Mbilwi Secondary School excels again – Redi Tlhabi speaks to top matriculant and principal to find out how

How to Fix South Africa's SchoolsMbilwi Secondary School in Limpopo – one of the remarkable schools featured in Jonathan Jansen and Molly Blank’s book How to Fix South Africa’s Schools: Lessons from Schools that Work – has excelled once again.

Talk Radio 702′s Redi Tlhabi spoke to Hamandishe Mathivha, top 2015 Mbilwi matric pupil, and Cedric Lidzhade, principal of the school, to hear how they overcome various obstacles like overcrowded classrooms and poor infrastructure to produce some of the country’s best science students.

Mathivha got 100 percent in Mathematics, Physical Science and Geography in his final matric exams. He says it was easy, because he loves the subjects so much:

From a really young age I’ve been curious about mathematical concepts and scientific facts; it’s just my passion and I’m really curious about the world. I want to know stuff, and that curiosity really developed a passion in me and a love for science and mathematics.

I think that it’s really important to, as a student, love the subjects you do because then it’s never really work. Then, it’s not like when you are studying you are working. You’re playing; it’s your hobby, your thing.

The young man ascribes his joy in these subjects to his dedicated teachers who remain motivated and sacrificial in their approach to education. Principal Lidzhade, a past pupil of the school, says that he expects his teachers to be energised and eager; to give education their all. They focus on the younger learners to build strong foundations, which makes it easier for senior students to excel.

When asked how they get pupils to enjoy science and maths so much, Lidzhade stresses that they do not treat these subjects like punishments. They impart excitement about knowledge and the discovery of facts and hope that the kids will catch on.

Listen to the inspiring podcast to find out how Mbilwi Secondary School succeeds despite strenuous circumstances:

Watch a short film about Mbilwi Secondary School, created as part of the project that lead to How to Fix South Africa’s Schools:

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