Understanding, effort the key
Despite an 81% pass rate, PJ Olivier Hoerskool principal, Joubert Retief believes they should have done better.
A shortage of teachers and tough home conditions for some pupils were among the school’s challenges.
“Many parents are unemployed. Due to the downward trend of the economy and what has been happening with protests in the higher learning sectors, they lost hope,” said Joubert.
The school’s top matric Chante Odendaal, who scored seven distinctions, said although it had been a tough year academically, she’d kept working hard.
“I am the kind of person who remembers something when I understand it, so I made sure I could visualise everything,” she said.
Apart from having an excellent memory, Odendaal said she kept her positivity by praying regularly. Her family also supports and doesn’t pressure her.
“I grew up on a farm and from Grade 1 my grandfather would wake up every morning to take me to school. I am extremely grateful to him,” she said.
Mary Waters High School achieved a 70.83 percent pass rate, declining by 3.93 percent from last year.
Principal Faith Coetzee said their challenges included lack of commitment from the learners, poor school attendance and not submitting their Continuous Assessments (CASS) on time.
“Extra classes were there but we did not always have 100% attendance,” Coetzee said.
“But I am happy with the results nonetheless because if you compare to the preliminary examinations, (prelims) they did much better.”
Coetzee thanked Rhodes University for their support, as well as Gadra Education Manager Ashley Westaway and the teachers for their efforts.
One of the two top learners of the school, Monique Stock, obtained four distinctions - for Afrikaans, Mathematical Literacy (Math Lit), History and Life Sciences – but it hadn't sunk in yet sunk in yet.
“I really did not expect to get all these distinctions, especially Math Lit since the exams were difficult,” she said.
Apart from wanting to make her family proud, the other thing that kept her going was to never wanting to be forced to work for a minimum wage.
“I have experienced how it feels like to not be able to provide necessities because of earning a minimum wage and I don’t want to go through it. That has been my biggest motivation,” she said
Stock has been accepted for a Bachelor of Social Science Degree at Rhodes University.
She encourages those who didn't make it to not give up.
Ntsika Secondary School came out as one of the top five schools in the district, increasing its pass rate from 73% in 2015 to 87% in 2016.
Principal Madeleine Schoeman said she was very pleased with the improvement in their results and commended the teachers for motivating the learners, and the parents for being supportive.
“I feel very proud in terms of what we have achieved as a school and it really was a team effort," Schoeman said. "All of us put in the hard work and were dedicated and it reflected in the end,” she said.
The top three Ntsika matrics were Nwabisa Timana (Bachelor pass and a distinction in English); Athenkosi Habana (Bachelor pass and a distinction in isiXhosa); and Akhusele Somhlahlo (Bachelor pass and distinctions for isiXhosa and Life Orientation).
PJ Olivier Hoerskool matrics with principal Joubert Retief upon receiving their statement of symbols.
Ntsika Secondary School’s top three matric 2016 achievers (left to right) Athenkosi Habana, Nwabisa Timana and Akhusele Somhlahlo.
One of Mary Waters Secondary's two top matrics, Monique Stock, shows off her statement of symbols.