Francistown’s oldest senior secondary school, Mater Spei College held a special prize giving ceremony on Friday to reward its best performing students.
As well as recognizing the crème of their current crop, who were given certificates and cash, the school also took the chance to celebrate their top achievers from last year and the teachers who helped them thrive.
2022 ultimately proved a difficult year for Mater Spei, whose 26.5 percent pass rate (C grade and above) saw them drop to 7th best in the country, the first time they have been out of the top 5 in over ten years.
Despite this disappointment, there was plenty to celebrate for the Catholic-run institution, which turns 60 this year.
The chief cause for celebration was the brilliant, Ngaruka Ngeepetjike, who managed an A* in all ten of his subjects.
“Ngaruka is our hero. He is the best student in the North East Region and likely to be the best in Botswana, we are still awaiting feedback from BEC,” gushed School Head, Baboloki Bajiti in his welcome remarks.
As well as his perfect results, Ngeepetjike hard work paid off financially too, as he was honoured with a cheque for P15, 000 from the class of 1978.
There was also special praise for another superstar in Natasha Bobonong, whose knowledge of numbers saw her get the top marks for Add Maths and Statistics in the whole of Africa.
Calling for more companies and groups to follow the Class of ‘78’s example and help the school, Bajiti said, “We request for adoption. We are appealing to the business community to adopt us and be in partnership with us. Mater Spei is a good brand, we won’t disappoint.”
With a current intake of 1, 918 students, the school head admitted they are faced with a shortage of resources, including classrooms. He further revealed drugs were becoming an increasingly bigger problem.
“However, we manage to reach the outstanding results by having disciplined students, supportive PTA and parents, supportive alumni and by having committed staff that go an extra mile.”
Continuing the motivation, previous pupil, Lawrence Lecha, who is now a practicing attorney, told the listening students his path to success was guided by several values, namely: self-discipline and belief – for which he quoted American pop star, Miley Cyrus! – prioritize education and study while also taking part in extra-curricular activities.
“Getting a good education is not just about getting a degree; it is about having an informed mind, about reading, researching and learning the ways of others. A truly academic education should be about exploring the critical questions in life and growing young minds which search answers and seek new solutions,” lectured Lecha, who urged his audience to stay away from drugs.