A 17-year-old Grade 12 learner in Gauteng braved labour pains to complete a matric exam before later giving birth on Friday.
The incident took place at a secondary school in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni, according to a statement by the Gauteng Department of Education.
The department said the learner started experiencing contractions, but refused to leave the exam centre to receive medical assistance.
“She was subsequently moved to a private office where she continued to write under excruciating labour pains,” the department added.
Panyaza Lesufi to visit learner
Paramedics reportedly waited for about 30 minutes until the learner completed her Maths Literacy exam before rushing her to Pholosong Hospital, where she gave birth.
The department said it would facilitate “administrative processes” for her to write her remaining exams.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi shared details of the incident on Twitter and added his reaction, “I am not sure [if this] is bravery or sheer determination. #BeTheJudge.”
He visited the learner in hospital on Friday afternoon. In an update on Twitter, he said both she and the baby were “fine.”
“I am here at Pholosong Hospital. Both the baby and mom are fine. The doctors have just discharged them. I spoke to the family and indicated that the department will support them to ensure that she concludes her remaining examinations,” Lesufi wrote.
Social media users react
Twitter users praised the unnamed learner for her determination to finish writing her paper despite the circumstances she was in.
Mpho Masoke wrote, “Wow it’s such determination from the learner to finish writing her paper… at least the mommy and baby are okay…”
Tsepo Charles added, “All the best to her. I wish she nails the exams and furthers her studies….power to our children.”
“The power of the human spirit. Wishing her well with the rest of the exams. BRAVO!” Busang Mayibuye said.
Zamokuhle Shongwe urged support for the learner, “She definitely deserves the support and care. I admire her determination to finish her Maths Lit paper despite being in labour.”