“Previously, I used to study using textbooks only and I lost focus easily, but I have realised now that it is important to study using old question papers to familiarise myself with how questions are asked,” said Musera, who is a grade 12 learner at Nghunghunyani High School in Dlamini.
“The camp is helping us a lot. My knowledge of content has increased in most subjects in the space of two days, so by the end of the camp I will be well knowledgeable,” she said.
Musera added that the tutors assisting learners at the camp were very supportive and gave them enough attention.
“I am positive now, I know I am going to pass my matric,” she said.
One of the tutors deployed at Cyras Centre, Mashudu Mashabela, who is a specialist for Geography subject, said her job was to help learners improve their marks from level one to at least three or four.
Mashabela said there were ten different schools accommodated at what the department calls a high risk camp for learners who needed special attention due to their low performance.
“It is very important that we give these learners the necessary attention during this revision period. We felt a need to separate them because learners who performed better get bored by the pace we teach these learners with and ultimately lose focus and disturb these ones,” she said.
She said tutors deployed at the camp were specialists in different schools and produced best results in those subjects.
“What I like most is that the learners are showing interest in improving because they study until late, they even complained yesterday that the lights went off early and that was around 10pm,” Mashabela said.
She said the camp will last until the coming weekend and envisaged that learners would have improved a lot by then.
About 312 learners were also camping near Cyras Centre, at Stone Ridge -- also in Magaliesburg -- where MEC Lesufi started speaking to the first group.
He said ten learners were selected from all the schools that were represented at the camp. These learners were the least performing in their schools.
“Next week, we will be bringing schools that are struggling. We want to bring everyone in the schools that we have identified,” the MEC said.
He said he aimed to reclaim Gauteng’s position as the number one province when matric results are released.
He added that Gauteng has been amongst best performing schools in the country for the past 20 years and it was time to compete with international schools.
He said almost 55 000 learners, which marks half of all grade 12 learners expected to write final examinations, will be attending camps in the province before examinations start.
“We believe that we want to prepare them well… we want them in a space where they can learn and get the support that they need,” said the MEC.
The MEC was accompanied by celebrities who came to motivate learners and wish them well ahead of the final exams.
Bokang Montjane, who wore the Miss SA crown in 2010, was amongst the motivational speakers on the day.
Montjane asked learners to never compromise education for anything and make it a priority.
“I had to pull out of Miss SA beauty pageant in 2009 because I was still studying. I felt that my education was more important and I would have been a hypocrite if I had dropped out and went all over the world preaching education to youth.
“I graduated and came back in 2010… and I took the title. I grew up from a rural area of Ga-Mphahlele in Limpopo, in a house with no electricity… We had to prepare a fire or use a prima stove to cook and candles to study. I did not let my circumstances stop me from achieving my goals,” she added.
Hlubi Mboya, who is an actress and activist, also encouraged learners to pray, eat well and get enough sleep while preparing for examinations.
A media personality and entrepreneur, affectionately known as DJ S’bu, told learners to prioritise studying and put social media and entertainment aside for the next three weeks.
“We love you guys, you cannot disappoint yourselves, your families and us… you are going to produce 100% no matter what,” he said to the applause of learners.