High school year of strikes and turbulence
Our pupils report back on progress
THIS has been a rollercoaster year for high school pupils with the teachers’ strike, the World Cup and a six-week holiday slap-bang in the middle of the year to accommodate the big event. But our Class of 2010 has given it the thumbs-up.
Weekend Argus selected the group of Cape Town pupils in January to track their experiences as they progressed through high school.
For at least one pupil, it’s been a turbulent year, ending with her dropping out of school. However, the others said despite the tough workload, it’s been a smooth-running year in general.
They are now on holiday after a challenging ter m in which they had to write yearend exams.
Vincent Sobantwana, 17, who’s in Grade 10 at Zon- nebloem Nest Senior School, said he’d been slacking earlier in the year and really needed to work hard for the exams to pass the year.
“In October, my tourism teacher, Mr Carolus, told me that I needed to pull up my socks, especially for maths. After that, I knew I was in trouble and I tried my best. I made notes in every class and studied them at home.”
While maths and English had been tough, he had enjoyed his drama exam, which included a practical test.
Grade 10 pupil at DF Malan High School Janneke van Loggerenberg, 16, said while the life sciences (biology) exam was difficult because of the amount of work, her exams had gone well.
“This term, there was a lot of work but it was mostly the exams that were stressful.”
Janneke, an A-average pupil, said she was starting to feel a little nervous about moving on to Grade 11, which she’d been told was tough.
Mikhail Andrews, 14, a Grade 8 pupil at Bergvliet High School, said he was also a bit anxious about next year.
Next year, his school was to separate the eight co-ed Grade 9 classes into four classes for girls and four for boys. The aim was to improve the children’s concentration.
He said this year had been a challenge because the work had been much more difficult than at primary school.
Jamie Penn, 14, who’s in Grade 8 at Wynberg Boys High School, also believed the adjustment from primary school to high school had been tricky at first.
“It’s a big change going from the top grade in primary school and starting from the bottom again in high school.”
However, the year had gone well, and he’d quickly adapted to living in a hostel.
“It’s actually brought me closer to my parents (who live in Fish Hoek). There’s no arguments and it’s a joy to come home.”
Grade 10 pupil at South Peninsula High School Shagufta Zalgaonkir, 16, said that while there had been a lot of work this year, it hadn’t been as bad as she thought it’d be.
Her exams had gone swimmingly, but she said she’d prepared well.
“Last year we had CTAs (Common Tasks for Assessment), so this year was our first full exam. It was hard to study a full year’s work but the papers were good.”
Some of the Class of 2010 believed this year’s civil servants’ strike had an impact on their studies.
“I feel the strike had a negative impact on my studies because some of our teachers were on strike and it was difficult to get up to date with all the work,” said Waseem Allie, 16, a Grade 10 pupil at Windsor High School.
However, the term had gone well because they had done a lot of revision this term.
Much like Waseem, most of the pupils found maths to be a difficult exam – others also battled with life sciences. Life orientation was unanimously voted the easiest.
Nomsimelelo Mbeke, 16, of Samora Machel, refused to speak to Weekend Argus about her difficulties, but earlier in the year said she had medical problems.
Her mother, Nothembisa, said her daughter had since dropped out of school in Philippi, and now lived with her boyfriend.
“I tell her over and over to go back to school but she won’t listen. I only hope she will come to her senses next year and go back.”
TIME OUT: With school over for the year, Weekend Argus’s Class of 2010 member Mikhail Andrews has more leisure time.
HAPPY: Shagufta Zalgaonkir, South Peninsula High
A-PUPIL: DF Malan High’s Janneke van Loggerenberg
ADJUSTED: Jamie Penn of Wynberg Boys High School