Anele Ncolosi, a Grade 5 learner at Siyeza Primary School situated in Watersmeet just before Iswepe, has spelt her way into representing Mpumalanga Province in the NEDBANK Spell- it- Bee competition.
Siyeza Primary School is one of many in Mkhondo that are rurally situated and still lacks many essential educational resources. This school is approximately 40km away from the nearest town, has no fencing or proper sanitation facilities and in most cases the process of teaching and learning in this school is often disturbed by roaming cattle. Founded way back in 1989 almost 3 decades ago, the school is currently under the leadership of school principal, Mr Ncolosi. He, together with a team of eight dedicated staff members are helping to shape the educational future of 176 learners, where a teacher sometimes has to supervise and educate two grades in a single classroom. Anele Ncolosi, at just the age of ten has, however, risen above all the challenges she faces at school and proven to be a spelling wizard and excels in all her learning areas. Anele’s Journey began in May this year when she was chosen to participate in the NEDBANK Spell-it-Bee competition at circuit level.
The competition is a spelling competition where primary school learners are given a spelling list with 1500 words to learn after which they are then tested on how best they can spell them at random in competition with other school learners in the same phase. At circuit level stage, Anele was competing with learners from approximately ten different schools where she walked away with the first position title overall. She then went on to participate in the subregional stages and there too, she claimed first position victory. She recently competed at district level, where she came in as the 1st runner-up. She has since received many prizes to the likes of certificates, a trophy, a medal and a CNA shopping voucher to the value of R300 sponsored by the Department of Education and NEDBANK. Anele, being one of two in the Gert Sibande District, will now be going on to represent team Mpumalanga in Johannesburg in October this year. On this occasion, she and her English teacher, who has not only been accompanying her to the different competition venues through this journey, but has also been mentoring her, will be treated to an all-expenses paid two day tour of the city as from the 8th to the 9th of October 2015. Their last stop of this wonderful tour will be at the venue of the competition finale, which will be held on the 10th of the same month.
An Excelsior News reporter visited this school and the atmosphere of hard work, companionship and a great family spirit between the teachers and learners was the highlight of the visit. We had the opportunity of speaking to a couple of the learners and they mutually agreed that the team of educators they have at their school is one that is yet to be equalled when it comes to the amount of love, passion and dedication that they put into their work as well as the relationships they build with the learners. Nonjabulo Nkambule and Yoleka Mndebele (grade 7), spoke on behalf of the learners and gave us insight on the school’s background and the challenges that they as learners face. They said that not only are they excited about Anele’s achievement, but it also challenges all the other learners to aim at putting their best foot forward in everything that they do. Anele’s teachers wished her luck as she continues in this competition and the pride they have about their “genius” was highlighted by the sparkle in their eyes each time they mentioned her name.
The School Principal, Mr Ncolosi, who also happens to be Anele’s father, also wished Anele the best of luck moving forward and emphasised that their little “Einstein” is one of many in their school that needs grooming so that one day they can reach their full potential. Mr Ncolosi further went on to make an appeal to the Mkhondo Stakeholders, the Education Department and any other individual who may be able to assist them as a school into breaking down all the rural barriers and producing learners that will in future take our country to greater heights. According to Ms P.E. Hleza, who brought this young girl to our attention, Ms Nsibandze, Anele’s English teacher also deserves a medal for the hard work that she has put into ensuring that Anele is prepared in the best way possible for all her competitions.
So, THANK YOU Ms Nsibandze, you have done a great job towards shaping this young mind and we hope that the many who will pass through your capable hands will also receive the same amount of dedication, patience and love. At the end of our insightful visit, we got a chance to speak to Anele. When all was said, she extended much appreciation to her parents for their constant support and love, her teachers for putting so much effort towards educating them and last but none the least, her homework buddies for assisting her and shedding light in cases where she might not have been so enlightened. We wish Anele the best of luck as she embarks on helping raise the Mpumalanga flag up high. For further information or should anyone wish to make donations towards the school and Anele’s trip, kindly Contact the school on 076 254 4861 or the Excelsior News office and request to speak to Mmabatho Mkhwanazi.