Zaine Perry is somewhat of an anomaly – having gone 12 years without missing a single day of school.
The matric pupil was recognised for this unique feat at Claremont High School’s prize-giving ceremony on Saturday October 12.
Principal Murray Gibbon said it had been a first for the school — as he handed over the award to Zaine.
Zaine, from the city centre, said it had not been something he had set out to do and only realised he had not missed a day of school at the beginning of Grade 7, when his teachers, principal and fellow pupils at St Mary’s Primary School had started to make a fuss about it.
“I then continued to achieve full attendance to the end of Grade 7. I appeared in the Cape Times which was something new for me. This definitely motivated me because when I thought about it, I had already completed seven years of full attendance, and there were only five years left to go. I was more than half way and thought this would be a great challenge,” he said.
When he did not receive an award in Grade 8, Zaine said he had felt disappointed in himself but had used that as motivation to his use daily attendance to work harder.
That paid off when he received an academic honour and the special award for full attendance.
“I feel dedication is the key to anything we do in life; without this we can’t achieve the goals we set for ourselves. I believe I have shown dedication and commitment in achieving this, and, hopefully, this will stand me in good stead for my future,” he said.
His mother, Michelle Perry, said they could not be more proud of Zaine, as he had exceeded their expectations.
“He deserves every mark he gets as he works extremely hard. Often we have to distract him to get him away from his books and studying. His full attendance fascinates us. I have yet to hear of any pupil that has achieved this. Zaine is an extremely dedicated, loyal and hard-working child, “ she said.
He plans to study either medicine or a BSc in marine biology/biochemistry at UCT next year.
The Principal’s Award went to Amahle Mbobi. Mr Gibbon said she had exemplified Claremont High School’s core values of academic excellence and determination during her five years at the school.
“She sets high standards for herself and is a remarkable example for those around her,” he said.
Current head girl Namhle Nuni received the Moyce Award for Strength of Character for demonstrating great personal strength in the face of challenges, while the Gibbon Honour Award, which is awarded to a matric pupil who exudes positive qualities of character and integrity, went to Silindokuhle Futuse.
The Le Roux Award for Service for a pupil who personifies the spirit of service went to Gamuchirai Sitima and Laeeqa Carstens. The Eleanor Roselt Award for creative writing went to Abdullah Jaffa.
The principal also announced the new head pupils for 2020. They are Lilita Limba as head girl and Leandre Davids as deputy, as well as Lesedi Phofa as head boy and Umar Allie as deputy.