Parents, priests, and teachers at Langa High School appealed for divine intervention the day after matric pupils started writing their final examinations.
The prayer meeting was organised by a local photographer, Luthando Vimbi, who said they were all concerned about this year’s exams because there were so many distractions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Like everything else in the country, schools were closed for long periods of time.
Mr Vimbi said he decided to team up with World Harvest Ministries and the school to have a prayer meeting.
“The aim is simple – to encourage them and to show them that they are not alone. We have seen the damage caused. It has distracted so many of us.
You then think about these young people, whose future depends on education. That is why we have to come together, even if it is for a few minutes,” he said.
At the event, pupils – in their graduation gowns – and their teachers were in a jovial mood, singing and dancing. Their matric ball was also incorporated into the day of prayer.
Grade 12 teacher Xoliswa Kedama said they had to pray for an improved pass rate and show love to their children.
“Most, if not all, of our pupils encountered problems during the Covid-19 lockdown. Remember, we are in a disadvantaged area where some pupils could not afford data, cellphones or money to buy these tools.
“We as teachers tried to teach them via WhatsApp groups but not everyone has access to those gadgets. We had to re-educate them again to finish the syllabus. We are glad to say we have done a good job and big up to our pupils because they were also willing to be at school from Monday to Monday.
“Weekends were like school days,” she said.
Member of World Harvest Ministries Church, Reverend Lubabalo Mbekeni, led the prayers. He encouraged pupils to take things easy and do their best.
School principal Mrhwebi Maguga also encouraged pupils to take a proactive role in their education.
Matriculants said they were ready to go.
Sinalo Solani and Nikho Swaartbooi said they were happy to have teachers who were “always on their case” and that while it had been a challenging year, and that they had not expected it to be easy, everyone was ready to write the exams.