National Senior Certificate achievers should be treated equally

The front page article “Bhisho’s R80 000 bursary blunder (Weekend Post, 20 January 2018) refers:

The Department of Education in the Eastern Cape has committed a grave injustice by not publically recognising the achievement of Heather Diogo.

Every learner who writes the National Senior Certificate examinations, whether they go to a government- or a private school, deserves to be treated equally as they all wrote the same examination. It is also unfair that the department does not want to grant her a bursary because she went to a “private” school.

The Global Leadership Academy in Jeffreys Bay is a low-fee private school whose monthly fees are a third of some of the well-known former Model C schools in Port Elizabeth.

From having a daughter who has just passed her matric, I know how hard Heather Diogo must have worked to get a 96.3% average.  This is why the injustice of this case has touched me so deeply.  If our society is to advance and develop to new heights, excellence needs to be rewarded. This is the hallmark of a winning nation.

This week, I submitted a question in the provincial legislature to the MEC for Education, Mandla Makupula, requesting that the department changes its policy and reconsiders its attitude to granting a bursary to Heather Diogo.

If the department won’t recognise you, countless others and I certainly do. Well done Heather.  — Bobby Stevenson, MPL, DA Leader in the Provincial Legislature, Bhisho