Top matriculant aims to become a teacher for the deaf
De La Bat School for the Deaf’s top matriculant Amahle Jemane was one of the pupils hosted by the basic education minister at a special event.
Amahle Jemane of the Dela Bat School for the Deaf in Worcester, Western Cape, was part of congratulatory breakfast with the 2023 matric top achievers, hosted by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in Johannesburg, yesterday. Picture: Nigel Sibanda
While progress has been made, challenges persist in ensuring that deaf pupils have equal access to quality education.
This is according to De La Bat School for the Deaf’s top matriculant Amahle Jemane, 18, who is aspiring to become a teacher to help improve deaf children’s education.
Jemane was one of the pupils hosted yesterday by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, with 33 others, who came out as the cream of the crop out of more than 700 000 full-time candidates who registered to write the 2023 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.
“The major challenge in South African sign language in the teaching and learning sector. Teachers in deaf schools are not fluent in the SA sign language, so that was the challenge,” she said.
“I’m hoping to study education. I hope to become an educator to teach deaf children, so I can make a change and help change deaf education.”
Jemane was excited to be a part of the top 34.
“I thought I was in a dream. I could not believe it”. She encouraged the class of 2024 to accept their challenges.
“Don’t run away from your challenges, do not procrastinate. Whatever challenge you come across, don’t wait, don’t pass them. Face them step by step, one at a time. Alright.”
Jemane said while everything else was a breeze, because of her hard work, “the barrier was the language and our educators understanding it better”.
She added: “And this really encouraged me to push myself to study harder and be more self- reliant because there were things I had to teach myself in order to get to where I am now.”
Motshekga lauded the pupils as a great example of what SA could achieve through hard work and dedication.
She said the “high-quality results by top-achieving matriculants” were a hallmark of the performance of the cohort.
“For you to be here is a big achievement, not only for you but for the parents as well.
“Your adaptability and fortitude as top achievers continue to show and confirm that excellence is achievable even in adversity.”
While the pass rate in the class of 2022 was the highest in the history of the NCS exams, Motshekga said every year they anticipated an improvement, “if you look at the past five years, we only dropped in 2020 and we know why”.