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Mhlume High’s Lomthandazo tops them all

There was hardly a dry eye at the family compound of Lomthandazo Dlamini, the Form Five genius who defied all odds and topped all pupils in the SGCSE examinations.
The 18-year-old Mhlume High School whizkid failed to contain her emotions when she was told that she had conquered all her peers in the exams and she wept while her mother and family members joined her and sobbed continuously, in typical tears of joy scenario.
“The tears you see are tears of joy. I thank God that finally I have written my own story despite the challenges that myself and my family are facing,” said the soft spoken mastermind who is also known as Promise.
She scored an incredible aggregate six (6) in the results officially released by the Minister of Education and Training, Wilson ‘Makhalempi’ Ntshangase on Friday.
Lomthandazo hails from kaShoba, a sprawling remote village located between Big Bend and Siteki in the Lubombo region.  She attributed her success story to hard work, dedication and devotion to her school work, and God “who has never failed me”. “I didn’t expect such news and it has taken me by complete surprise. I expected the so called big schools in the cities to come out tops as usual. 
“This is a counter narrative story that God is a faithful God. The community we live in may write you off because of your background but God writes you on in order to shame the devil and show his mighty powers,” she declared. The last year has been a very tough year as teachers went on the waya waya strike but I made a personal resolution to study hard during that period because the teachers didnt take the syllabus and books when they went on strike. 
There was no earthquake that buried all our books so while the teachers were away, I studied and followed my own study time table,” she added confidently.
…Wants to be Chemical Engineer
Lomthandazo Promise Dlamini, who displayed incredible academic excellence in the Form Five examinations, has big dreams. 
She wants to become a Chemical Engineer. Her only challenge now is that she comes from a very poor family which cannot afford to pay for her tertiary fees.
“That is my ultimate goal. I want to enrol for a bridging chemical engineering course at U-Tech in South Africa before moving to the University of Cape Town (UCT).  Between a dream and realizing that dream there is self discipline and that has been my motto my entire life,” said the teenager who clearly knows what she wants. She appealed to prospective sponsors to help her realize her dreams. 
Her father, Nkhosingiphile, also paid a special tribute to her hard working daughter and noted that she had made the family proud. “She inherited such brains and intelligence from me,” said Dlamini boastfully. He added: “We are living literally from hand to mouth as a family and would like to appeal for assistance from benevolent donors to lend a helping hand. I am proud of my daughter and such brilliance runs in the family blood because even my other children are doing well in their studies. I am not only lucky but believe I am also blessed.” 
Mhlume High Deputy Principal Lindiwe Nxumalo had this to say when told that the best student came from her school: “Hallelujah. We have always encouraged her to work extra hard because we could see the potential in her. I knew she was going to make it.”
Best Form Five results in five years
In what will come as good news to parents and the education fraternity, a significant improvement has been recorded in the Form Five results released on Friday as statistics show that they are the best over the last five years.
An incredible 88.10 percent pass rate has been recorded this year and this shows an increase of 0.78 percent compared to the 2011 academic year results. 
In 2011, the pass rate stood at 87.32 percent. This is despite the fact that the school calendar has been marred by endless class boycotts by teachers last year, throwing the entire education system into disarray.
“Izingane zenze kahle kakhulu lonyaka (the pupils performed exceptionally well this year),” declared Minister of Education and Training Wilson ‘Makhalempi’ Ntshangase when releasing the SGCSE 2012 results at the cabinet offices on Friday.
 A slight disappointment though is the fact that credit passes has decreased this year compared to the 2011 results. There were 13.15 percent credit passes in 2012 compared to 13.92 credit passes in 2011. This figure is the lowest since 2008.
Compared to 2011, the number of candidates who attained a C grade or better including English language - in five or more subjects dropped by 0.77 percent in 2012. The number of candidates who attained G grade or better in four or more subjects, including English, in 2012  increased by 0.78 percent compared to 2011.
Minister Ntshangase congratulated all the pupils who excelled in the examinations and also paid a special tribute to the schools that performed well.
“This is truly commendable as the pupils defied all the challenges they faced last year and passed their exams. 
To the students that did not pass, my message is that they must not give up. They must put extra effort and dedicate themselves to their studies next year,” said the Minister.
...Give all students their results - Minister
Minister Ntshangase has called upon school principals to give all students their results, whether or not they owe school fees.
The minister issued a stern warning on Friday to principals who have a tendency to withhold results for owing students, saying “anyone who acted against this order will face the consequences”.
“Any principal who will defy this order will face the music. Principals have been working on their own for a long time and it is time they toed the line. They must know who I am and any anti-government antics will not be tolerated. 
What cabinet has decided is an instruction and must be taken without a grumble. I am warning principals against defying government orders. 
Before I vacate office I will put some of them in their rightful places,” said the minister. The minister noted that a memorandum was circulated to all school principals to the effect that all students must receive their results. “Any student that is owing fees should not be punished by having the results withheld. 
Principals have a right to sue the parents and not punish the pupils. It is that simple,” said the minister.  The minister released the SGCSE 2012 results on Friday during a press conference at the cabinet offices. 
Malpractice, cheating on the rise - Exams Council
Reports of malpractice and cheating in final examinations have once again reared their ugly head in the SGCSE results released on Friday.
And this time around reported cases have increased by an astonishing 200 percent. 
This was disclosed by the Registrar of the Examinations Council of Swaziland, Dr. Edmund Mazibuko when officially releasing the 2012 Form Five results at a press conference held at the cabinet offices.
Some schools, according to Dr. Mazibuko, were now a regular feature in malpractice during exams. 
“This is a major cause for concern and it must come to an end. There are schools that are known for cheating and we are going to make recommendations to the ministry on how this problem could be arrested,” he said. Attending the press conference was the Minister of Education and Training, Wilson Ntshangase and some education officials.

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