Mthokosizi Nkomo, who attended Impiyamandla High School in Etshenilenduna, and Sinakhokonke Siyaya, from Phendukani High School in Newcastle, both in KwaZulu-Natal, are among the top achievers in the matric class of 2022.

Mthokosizi, 18, obtained distinctions in all of the seven subjects he wrote, claiming first place in the physical science category nationally. 

Mthokosizi, who plans to study medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said he was still in disbelief about his results, which he achieved despite having to contend with frequent, crippling power black outs by power utility Eskom during his final year in school.

The only real challenge I encountered during the matric year was load-shedding. It was hard juggling my school work and doing chores at home because of power cuts

Mthokosizi

Last week, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that the matric class of 2022 achieved a national pass rate of 98.7% in the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, a 3.7 percentage point improvement from 76.4% the previous year.

The chairperson of parliament’s portfolio committee on basic education, Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba, welcomed the marked improvement, saying it was encouraging “especially in the context of the impact of Covid-19 on the 2022 cohort’s experience of teaching and learning”.

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