High school year of strikes and tur­bu­lence

Our pupils re­port back on progress

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - LEILA SAMODIEN

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.”

PIC­TURE JEF­FREY ABRAHAMS

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

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