For many, the joy of passing the 2016 matric examinations has not died down but the real battle to secure places for tertiary studies has now begun.
The increased number of bachelor candidates means there will be fewer places and some students will have to wait for next year or take other routes.
Some of the top performers from Mahikeng shared their aspirations for the future.
Boitumelo Molefe, 18, from Batswana High School obtained seven distinctions and was in the province’s top 10.
“I feel great about the performance because it was a lot of hard work and dedication. I enjoyed physics, life orientation and mathematics more than any other subjects and I look forward to studying chemical engineering at the University of Cape Town. I have come to love chemistry and I think I will be able to go into any field I want upon completion of the first degree,” she said.
Khumoitsile Songwane, 17, from Mmabatho High School got six distinctions and a B.
“I’m very excited and a bit surprised because I didn’t expect that I would pull through in this fashion. I feared the worst in mathematics but, thank God, I got a B. I’m now set to study accounting science at the University of Pretoria because my aim is to become a chartered accountant,” she said.
Songwane said there was no substitute for hard work and the 2017 matriculants have to get that right from the start.
“Procrastination is the worst enemy and people should never give up. It was strenuous but I had to hang in there and now I’m happy,” she said.
Onkabetse Modisakeng, 17, of Mmabatho High School got five distinctions and two Bs.
“I’m going to take up civil engineering at the University of Cape Town. I have a passion for construction and I believe the hard work I put in getting these results has prepared me for the challenges ahead,” she said.
Modisakeng said she enjoyed mathematics and physics a lot and thanked her teachers, friends and family members for her success.
Neo Nko, 18, is another student who performed exceptionally well. He now sets his eyes on studying civil engineering at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
“I love the built environment and want to acquire that knowledge and make a difference to infrastructure in Mahikeng. The studies were difficult but I want to thank my parents and friends who stuck by me and here I am, looking forward to starting a new life at the university,” he said.
Wandisa Sifile, 17, wants to become a teacher. His institution of choice is the North West University (NWU) Mafikeng Campus.
“I have a passion for education.
I want to associate with the youth and pursuing education gives me that opportunity. I want to enrol at NWU because it is less expensive and I will be at home because I stay here in Mahikeng,” he said.
He said he would look for opportunities to diversify after having tested the education sector.
Silindinkosi Sibanda, 17, is another matric student who did well.
“I hope to join the medical school at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Should that not materialise, I will look for something in the health sciences because that is where my passion lies. I feel I will be able to make a difference serving people and restoring their health,” she said.
Like other matriculants, Sibanda thanked her family members for the encouragement they gave her even when the going was tough.