The Mayor of Lepelle-Nkumpi Local Municipality, Cllr. Merriam Molala, visited performing and underperforming schools as part of the Back-to-school campaign. The visit was part of the government-wide Back-to-School Campaign which is a government initiative that is aimed at highlighting the importance of education and assisting in mobilising society to promote the value of education.

The Mayor first day visit was at Kgalema High School, in Mafefe, Noko-Tlou Circuit which obtained 73.8% pass rate for grade 12 class of 2019, where she was accompanied by the Chief whip Cllr. Tswaledi Thobejane, Executive Committee Members, representatives from the Department of Education, South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) representatives as well as other officials and stakeholders.

She further proceeded to Mokgaputji High School which obtained 56.1% pass rate and ended her day at Matsimela High School which obtained 77% pass rate for grade 12 class of 2019.

The campaign continued the second day with the Mayor visiting Dinao High School which obtained 61.4% and Kgagatlou High School which obtained 47.9% both situated at Ga-Mphahlele, Sepitsi Circuit and the last visit was at Kopano High School in Lebowakgomo Circuit which obtained 41.5% pass rate for grade 12 class of 2019.

The Mayor motivated everyone by emphasising that learners are the future leaders "Education is one of the Government priority, so as the Municipality it is our mandate to give full support to you. In 2020 you must work very hard, dont pick wrong friends and succumb to peer pressure. This is your government; we are here to support you". She also said challenges such as a lack of proper buildings, equipment and furniture should not prevent academic excellence nor be used as an excuse for poor performance.

The Mayor also encouraged leaners to survive teenage pregnancy, drugs, alcohol, peer pressure and take education serious to help their parents and improve their living conditions and shape the future of the community. "We plead with principals to report challenges during the year and not wait for visits such as these to report their problems as most of the school faced challenges such as lack of infrastructure, high rate of pregnancy, drugs and gangsterism and the mayor promised to escalate the message to the MEC and other stakeholders to help them solve their problems.

Mogodumo SADTU Chairperson Mr. Mogashoa motivated the learners that there is no short cut to success in life. He further said learners must not be discouraged by bad infrastructure of the school but rather to focus on learning.

The School Principal of Kopano High School Mr. Monama said challenges affecting their performance include lack of support from parents and crime arising from the community against school properties. "One of the key factor that affect our results and our leaners is that most of them take parental roles in their households, and this affect our leaners' adaptation and focus on their academics" says Principal Monama.