Teamwork helps NSC candidate to overcome the odds
12 March 2021
David Millar, Provincial Chief Executive Officer of Naptosa in the Western Cape, always wanted to be a Geography teacher and was in his element when he started teaching the subject in 1989.
In the more than three decades since, he was promoted to principal and until last year he was Director of the Western Cape Education Department’s Metro North Education District.
In October 2020, Carl May approached Millar to teach him Geography as he was writing the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Geography exam on 3 December 2020.
“He knew I taught Geography. When he said “teach” I heard “tutor”. We met at a coffee shop in Observatory and I told him to bring his notes.”
At the meeting, Millar was stunned to hear that May had never done Geography and had no notes. They had eight weeks to cover a three-year course.
“So, I was teaching, not tutoring! Weekends. During the week. Carl works fulltime and with Geography really not an easy subject, it took a lot of time and effort.”
Millar enlisted the help of several WCED officials to source Telematics lessons and other resources. Carl faithfully attended two-hour lessons twice a week after an exhausting day at work, and over weekends too.
In the week of 3 December, they had not touched mapwork and Millar contacted Rustenburg Girls’ High School to provide them with maps and orthophotos so that they could do three past papers.
He was very pleased when they received Carl’s results. “The target was 50%. Carl achieved 55%. I cannot explain how proud I am of a young man for whom life threw some curved balls. But he threw that ball right back!!! It goes to show. Teachable spirits who work hard cannot go wrong - if there is someone there to motivate and drive. Carl is one class act.
“Never give up on our 'kids'. Never write any kid off. EVER. They need us.”
Carl registered to write the remaining three subjects to obtain a matric qualification in the NSC exams in May and June this year. He said after many years of doubting himself and his abilities, his advice to others is not to procrastinate. “Go ahead and take a leap of faith. It is hard work but possible if you believe in yourself.”