The vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT), Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, has shared a heartfelt message with the matric class of 2022 as they sit for their final exams – the last stretch of a 12-year school journey.
“As you prepare to sit your final matric exams, think about the courage it took to bring you this far. You have survived the world’s biggest crisis since the Spanish Flu over 100 years ago. What you have gone through in your high school years is excellent practise for becoming an adult,” Professor Phakeng said.
In a special video message, she encouraged the class of 2022 to develop an inquiring mindset and to deeply consider the morals and ethics they would like to embody. She urged them to commit to that value system, even when times are tough. After all, Phakeng added, those morals will guide difficult decision-making processes as the cohort adjusts to life outside of school. She advised those who are already living their lives in line with a strong moral and ethical foundation to practise compassion, especially towards those who are struggling to make difficult decisions.
“Courage is something we all need to share with each other,” Phakeng said.
Life is about learning
Life, Phakeng said, is about learning, overcoming and learning some more – a process that also allows for deep reflection and introspection. More than that, lifelong learning is one of the fundamentals to success – especially during times of rapid global change.
“It [lifelong learning] means you can look back and be proud of what you have accomplished, in the work you do, in the person you are becoming and the love you show others. Along with love, courage is one of the keys to help you build a rewarding life. In tough times, courage tells you that you can overcome the next obstacle. We each have to learn how to grow that courage. It is a choice. And it is possible for everyone,” she said.
“I wish you the best for your matric exams and beyond. I look forward to the future you are going to help build. And if you decide to study further, I hope to welcome you to UCT in 2023.”
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