St Boniface College made a clean sweep of all the top 10 spots for best performers in last year’s NSSC Ordinary Level examinations, results released by the Ministry of Education on Wednesday show.
St Boniface College, a Roman Catholic school that is situated 30 km east of Rundu in the Kavango East Region, has been the best-performing school in Namibia for several years now.
The Windhoek Observer spoke to some of the top learners at the school to find out what tips they follow to succeed.
Muupa Kabajani, who topped the list with 87.6 percent, said her trick was to distance herself from all the distractions such as spending too much time on her cell phone chatting to friends, avoiding social media and not showing any interest in parties, alcohol and drugs.
“I decided to put my studies first. This was very important for me,” she said.
This year, about 1,400 full-time candidates and more than 6,000 part-timers were not graded. For those who did not make it, Kabajani advised them not to give up.
“We all sometimes fail in life. Over the years, I have learned that failing does not mean that you don’t deserve better. Enrol and repeat. Redo it all and this time work harder and give it your best. I know that you can do it,” she said.
Kabajani plans to study medicine at the University of Namibia.
“I want to save lives. I want to heal people and make them feel better,” she said.
Marion Mupiri, who also scored 87.6 percent, which secured her the second best spot across the country, said she had a lot of support at home.
“My mother made sure that she gave me whatever I needed in order to better my studies. My family also motivated me a lot to study,” Mupiri said.
According to Mupiri, some teachers are not interested in working with leaners so that they can become better. She stressed that when teachers do not show that they care, learners are discouraged.
Paulus Iyambo, who was the best performing male candidate with 86.9 percent, said he work hard in order to please his parents.
“Paying for education is not easy. Education is very expensive. My parents invested a lot of money into my studies. I could not disappoint them because they work really hard to bring money home,” he said.
Iyambo said he spent a lot of time working on subjects that he struggled with.
“Often learners avoid subjects that they find difficult, but I decided to do something different. I spent a lot of my time learning about the things that I didn’t understand easily. This was the best way I could think of getting higher marks in all the subjects,” he said.
Iyambo, who wants to become a mechanical engineer, said many learners are failing because they do not have enough motivation from their friends, teachers and relatives.
St Boniface was founded in 1995 and named in honour of Bonifatius Hausiku, the first Namibian Catholic bishop in Namibia, who later became an archbishop.
The success of the school is attributed to its principal, Mary Phillis Yesudasan, who has been described as “very strict”.
She emphasises commitment from both teachers and students. Teachers at St Boniface regularly work until 22h30. Long hair and romantic relationships are prohibited among students and mobile phones are forbidden for students and teachers alike.
All teachers at the school are from other countries, such as Kenya, Zimbabwe or India. According to Yesudasan, no Namibian teacher has proven competent enough to comply with the stringent standards she demands.
In order to maintain high academic standards, students who fail a grade are not allowed back to the school.