School sets out to ring the changes

Pupils at sub­sidised cen­tre of learn­ing achieve 92% pass rate against the odds

Cape Argus - - NEWS - Zo­didi Dano STAFF RE­PORTER zo­[email protected]

DE­TER­MINED to change peo­ple’s per­cep­tion about Ma­nen­berg and trans­form the com­mu­nity’s so­cio-eco­nomic sta­tus, pupils from The Lead­er­ship Col­lege ob­tained a 92 per­cent matric pass rate.

The school, cen­tred in the heart of the gang- and drug-af­fected com­mu­nity, is solely de­pen­dent on a gov­ern­ment sub­sidy and do­na­tions to en­sure pupils get free tu­ition and re­sources.

Top achiever, Dhilshaad Ado­nis,18, who ob­tained seven dis­tinc­tions and was short of only 2 per­cent in get­ting eight dis­tinc­tions, said her mo­ti­va­tion through­out the year was try­ing to get her mother out of the taxi busi­ness.

“I live with my great-grand­mother, my aunt, cousin and sib­lings. My mother is a taxi driver and my fa­ther is not ac­tive in my life,” she said.

“These results have only in­spired me to con­tinue at the pace that I have been work­ing at. It was not easy, study­ing while neigh­bours were blast­ing mu­sic, my mother be­ing busy mak­ing money seven days a week in a dan­ger­ous in­dus­try and dodg­ing bul­lets while head­ing to school. But I did it.”

The teenager has been ac­cepted at at least three Western Cape uni­ver­si­ties. She said de­spite re­ceiv­ing news that her dream bur­sary would not be cov­er­ing her tu­ition, there were other bur­saries avail­able to her and that she had de­cided to study BCom Ac­count­ing at Stel­len­bosch Uni­ver­sity.

“This will give peo­ple a dif­fer­ent out­look and will help bring pos­i­tiv­ity in Ma­nen­berg. I am just happy that I at least made my mother proud,” said Ado­nis.

Another pupil, Granville van der Berg, 17, who passed with a Bach­e­lor’s pass, said he owed his suc­cess to the teach­ers and prin­ci­pal.

Granville and his sis­ter raised them­selves since they were in their early teens. His mother died three years ago. “I re­mem­ber there were days when I over­slept and my teach­ers would come and wake me up at home to go and write my ex­ams,” he said. “It’s hard when you don’t have a par­ent sup­port­ing you, but my teach­ers have been there for me all the way. This cer­tifi­cate is just a start to my suc­cess.”

A school in the south­ern sub­urbs, Rusten­berg Girls High School, also boasted about its stel­lar results on its Face­book page. The school’s class of 2016 ob­tained a 100 per­cent pass rate with a 99.3 per­cent Bach­e­lor’s pass.

“We are so proud of our top stu­dent, Han­nah Clay­ton, for achiev­ing so well na­tion­ally – third over­all in the quin­tile five schools cat­e­gory as well as third for math­e­mat­ics,” the post read.

Mean­while, a som­bre mood fell upon Mon­u­ment Park High School in Kraai­fontein as the school re­mem­bered a matric pupil, Siya Ngoqu, who died fol­low­ing a botched cir­cum­ci­sion in the Eastern Cape dur­ing the De­cem­ber hol­i­days.

In his mem­ory, can­dles and a photo of him was placed at the school hall, where pupils col­lected their results. Ngoqu had also passed his matric ex­ams.


TRANS­FOR­MA­TIVE: Saliegh Abra­hams, left, Ijaaz Amar­dien, Granville van der Berg and Chad Heu­vel check out their ma­tric re­sults at The Lead­er­ship Col­lege in Ma­nen­berg.

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