A Form Five student in Botswana, at Gaborone Secondary School (GSS) has won a scholarship worth P120,000 to study at Monash University in South Africa.
Bakang Phokoletso got the scholarship after he emerged the best speaker in the national debating championships held at St Joseph's College, Gaborone last week. The event brought together about 28 senior private and public schools among them Maruapula Secondary School, Legae Academy, Naledi Senior Secondary, Mater Spei College and Lobatse Secondary School.
The overall winner was Maruapula Secondary School ahead of GSS by two points. Phokoletso teamed up with Thabang Lesetedi, Letlhogonolo Mosama, Bakang Phokoletso, Babui Nyepetsi, Ontiretse Motlhabane and Thato Chima to power GSS to second place and win the school P5,000. "I did not expect to be the best speaker at all, not to mention winning this prize. I was just focusing on the competition," he said with a shy smile.
"I feel honoured to be the first winner in the first competition. I can only encourage other students to take part in extra-curricular activities and know that there are no limits. One can achieve anything if they believe in themselves," the young boy said. Speaking at the school assembly where Phokoletso was awarded the prize, Monash's international recruitment executive, Tshidi Khonou encouraged the other students to take interest in extra curricular activities. "This is just to officially welcome Phokoletso to Monash University. You are welcome sir," he said to the beaming student who is yet to seat for his final examination at the end of the year.
Khonou told Monitor that this was the first edition of what would be an annual event. "We are just trying to bridge the gap by bringing students from private and public schools to work together as no one has done that before," he said. He explained that the competition is a platform for students who have aspirations of becoming lawyers to showcase their capabilities.
GSS headmaster, Mosimanegape Mophuting appreciated the efforts of all the teachers who were involved in drilling the team.