The 2014 matriculants’ were pleasantly surprised when, instead of a comprehension question based on an excerpt from a novel when they were provided with a comprehension passage on South Africa’s global flagship project, the ‘Transnet-Phelophepa Healthcare Train’ known fondly in South African communities as the ‘Train of Hope’. The comprehension section of the English paper not only tested their ability to read and comprehend, but also tested their general knowledge on events that happen within South African communities as well as sensitised learners on what the Phelophepa project is all about.
Matric exams kicked off on Monday with many matriculants stating that they were ready and had worked hard enough to sit the final exam. But none of the matriculants nor did the Transnet Foundation management have any idea, that the English Language paper to be written the following Tuesday would feature the Transnet flagship programme as part of the set of comprehension questions.
“It is amazing. Actually it took us by surprise too. It is an endorsement of our flagship project by the Department of Education. We truly appreciate the endorsement by the department. Our two Transnet-Phelophepa trains have brought immense hope in areas where basic healthcare is needed seeing over 360 000 patients annually,” says Sibusiso Ngomane, Transnet Foundation Senior Manager: Communications & Special Projects.
Thabiso Moloto, a matriculant at Cosmo Primary School who sat the examination yesterday said “it was an interesting question. I knew there was a train like that because my grandmother got some spectacles off the train in North West…but I had no idea this could feature in our examination and be the determinant of our future.”
Cedric Madzhive who also sat for the examination at a college in Braamfontein said he had no idea about the train but “one thing for sure, this train is doing amazing things for the people of South Africa. I hope that Transnet continues with programme reaching more people in the process.” Asked if he had passed the paper, Cedric replied “yes” confidently.
In conclusion, Mr Ngomane explains that the Foundation and its staff work extremely hard to make the Phelophepa a success it is. “A lot of planning goes into the operations of these two trains, Phelophepa I and Phelophepa II, thanks to Shamona Kandia, the Senior Manager: Health portfolio and her dedicated team of administrative and health professionals. Transnet would also like to thank all our partners and stakeholders who have made this project a resounding success over the years.”