Durban – A Durban father is hoping to convince the KwaZulu-Natal education department to recognise his daughter in the province’s matric top 10 after her revised results upped her aggregate following a re-mark of her papers.
Kisten, the sole breadwinner who works from home, said his family’s financial challenges would be eased if the department acknowledged his daughter’s achievements.
Looking for funds, sponsors
Kisten said the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s scholarship, which was worth R50 000, and was awarded to pupils in the top 10, was a massive advantage.
“She was 12th at the time so she missed out on that. There were also many other things such as free laptops, hampers and the potential to source private sponsors. I am not asking for the department to give us these things, just to recognise her so we can go looking for funds and sponsors,” Kisten said.
Rylene Kisten is now studying chemical engineering at UKZN, which her father said was costly. “We live in Phoenix so there is travel in addition to textbooks and tuition.”
Kisten said that while his daughter’s results ensured she was given a discount on fees by the university, costs were still escalating.
“Her fees have been reduced to about R28 000. We got a discount because of her symbols. Her transport is R1 000 per month and her books are around R5 000. We are also trying to pay for her extra classes at R450 for three hours.
“Most of her colleagues are also using laptops and we are trying to find something for her.”
A dedicated academic
Kisten said he needed to pave the way for his daughter because she was a dedicated academic.
“In her matric year, we all came together as a family. We watched very little television, maintained quiet in the home and gave her the space she needed to get her results. We have always had financial issues at home and she wants to go beyond all of this.
“She wants to help her family and we are so proud of her. She has done so well. We want the best for her and we feel this small acknowledgement will make a big difference for us.”
Kisten said he had e-mailed Viren Maharaj, a Pinetown District examination specialist, but was abruptly told his request to have his daughter acknowledged would not be possible.
Department spokesperson, Sicelo Khuzwayo, said that while there was indeed an improvement in his daughter’s results, it was not enough to move her from being ranked 12th.
“Unfortunately, for this learner she will not move further than position 12. One of her subjects moved up by 4% but her 12th place will remain.”
Kisten said he did not accept the department’s response and needed “proof and a better reason”.