The impact that a good high school can have on a learner’s life is significant. Through interaction with teachers, for example, the learner is taught more than just her respective subjects, picking up also on the teachers’ social cues such as dedication and commitment and passion. Life lessons such as these become a permanent part of the learner’s character and is carried through to her tertiary studies and eventual working environment.
It was with this in mind that Tshwarelo Masuku wrote a thank-you letter to her school from which she matriculated, Northern Academy, a school managed by Curro.
Currently in her third year and studying towards a Bachelor of Accounting Science degree at the University of the Witwatersrand, Masuku can trace her current success back to 2014 when she started her journey at Northern Academy in Grade 10. During her three years at the school, she consistently appeared on the top 10 learners list each year, eventually graduating matric with five classy distinctions. She is now on course to become a Chartered Accountant.
“All of this would not have been possible if not for the dedication and support from my teachers. From extra classes, to repeating the same thing a hundred times over in class just so everyone could understand… It is their patience, care and passion for what they are teaching that really inspired me to love learning,” Masuku wrote. “I would say one of the things that I learned from being at Northern Academy that still serves me well today, is independence and responsibility. You are taught to be responsible for yourself and your actions, and to work hard for the things you want,” she added.
Often learners are fearful of certain subjects, believing that they don’t have the necessary skills to tackle it sufficiently. For Masuku, this subject was Maths. And yet, through a diligent teacher, this subject unfolded before her. And now she’s pursuing a career in numbers! “In my first year at university, I found myself in computational mathematics and business statistics classes, with the love I had developed for maths at school, plus my perseverance, really carried me through,” she said.
Another aspect that she is grateful for, which the teachers at Northern Academy emphasised, is language skills. For many learners at a tertiary level, the step up required to confidently study and write exams in English, often their second language, is a bridge too far. “I found myself very grateful for the communication skills I acquired in high school which ensured that I was not at a disadvantage during lectures and through my studying,” Masuku wrote.
Masuku also credits the smaller class sizes at Northern Academy, plus the fact that there are teachers’ assistants present. This allows teachers to focus on the actual teaching and makes it possible to spend time with learners who are struggling with specific problems.
It is notable that when it comes to her time at Northern Academy, Masuku – a hostel resident – gives thanks to all the members of staff. “From the hostel monitors, through to the kitchen staff, our teachers, teachers’ assistants and the admin staff, each and every one contributed to the person I became,” she noted.
“A true candidate of Curro’s #Learners2Leaders campaign, Masuku is the type of learner that the Curro group hopes to nurture – one that doesn’t forget her roots, while actively striving towards creating a better future. We are certainly proud to have Tshwarelo as a Northern Academy alumna, and we look forward to seeing her bright future unfold,” says Chris Jansen van Rensburg, Executive Head at Northern Academy.