College of Education

Teacher duo graduate together

John and Ntebaleng Lekoana both completed the BEd Honours in Educational Management from Unisa’s College of Education (CEDU).

On 1 June 2020, John (45) and Ntebaleng Lekoana (42), a married teacher couple from Limpopo, graduated simultaneously with the same degrees at home amid the national lockdown. They both completed a BEd Honours in Educational Management from Unisa’s College of Education (CEDU).

"We are husband and wife, we are friends, we are study mates, we are educators, we teach same subjects, we did same honours degrees and we are 2020 graduates. We are the Lekoanas," they proudly announced on Facebook.

"Being on the same programme as a couple gave us an opportunity to spend time together and with the effort we put in our studies we knew we were going to graduate together and believing in God worked magic," Ntebaleng says. "If we say we are excited, it will be an understatement. We are over the moon."

After John was appointed as the head of department (HoD) at Elandspoort High School in 2018, the duo thought five modules would be too much for them. "We registered the first three modules in 2018 and ended the last two modules in 2019. It took us precisely two years to complete our qualifications."

They say working through their studies allowed them to encourage and challenge each other. "When we were writing our last two modules, I lost both my father and maternal grandad. I thank my husband for the support he has shown me when I wanted to give up. As a matter of fact, I got distinctions in those modules," Ntebaleng explains. "We are like friends; we do everything together, so we decided to study together, and it worked."

Ntebaleng and John Lekoana attending their 12-year-old daughter’s school award ceremony

Their love story started in 1999 when they were in matric at Thagaetala High School in Limpopo. Ntebaleng recalls: "In 2001, John earned R350 working as a builder in a construction company based in Pretoria."

Their 19 years of marriage is characterised by sharing family responsibilities. Ntebaleng, who works as a teacher at Norkem Park High School, says that balancing work, school and family is hard. However, the couple had their own study programme. "We woke up every morning at 3 am to study and we also used an empty classroom in my school to revise over the weekends."

As a family that talks about everything, Ntebaleng says: "If we have time we dedicate it to our three kids. We explain our daily activities and study programme to them. Our kids are part of our success because they supported us and believed in us. So, it was easy for them to understand that mum and dad were busy. But regardless of our packed schedules we never missed their important days like award ceremonies and parents’ meetings. We go together to all those meetings."

To conclude, the duo affirm: "This achievement means that we need to bring out the best in each other. We will continue to believe in each other, support each other, and, lastly, pray for each other."

* By Lesego Ravhudzulo, Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2020/06/23