Matrics push through pandemic

Some of the top achievers from Cannons Creek School show how many distinctions they scored. From left, are Mitchell Johnson, Oliver Short, Tavonga Chimuka, Nicholas Jacobs, Bridget Botha and Kian Frassek.

Southern suburbs schools have weathered the Covid storm well, with matrics delivering solid performances, according to the National Senior Certificate matric results put out on Monday.

Rondebosch Boys’ High School scored a 100% pass rate for the 13th year running. Veren Naidoo was the second-best maths pupil in the country, scoring 100% for the subject, which was one of his eight A symbols. The school also had 95% university-entrance, or Bachelors, pass rate.

Principal Shaun Simpson said: “While these excellent results are the culmination of years of focus and hard work on the part of both the boys and their teachers, they are also indicative of the determination and goal orientation of a group that were often expected to work in isolation.”

From left, are Windsor High School top pupil Yusra Stellenboom, principal Dianne Morgan, second placed-pupil Zara Goliath and third-placed pupil Imaan Ebrahim.

Cannons Creek Independent School held on to the 100% rate it has maintained since opening in 1999. The school’s 26 matrics scored 81 distinctions.

Principal Mike van Haght congratulated the pupils and their families as well as the school’s staff. “This is an excellent set of results from our matrics, in an especially trying year,” he said.

Top pupil Kian Frassek scored six distinctions an aggregate of 87.57%, despite an ongoing struggle with severe dyslexia.

“I had lots of help from my parents,” he said. His mother, Tania Frassek, said he had shown that he could beat the learning disorder.

Bishops, SACS, Herschel Girls, St Joseph’s Marist College, Star College and Westerford High School also held on to their 100% pass rates.

Pinelands High School scored 98.9%; Rustenburg Girls’ High School, 98.8%; Sans Souci Girls High School, 98%; St George’s Grammar School, 97%; Livingstone High School, 96.1%; Claremont High School, 95.9%; Groote Schuur High School, 97.1%; Windsor High School, 93.8% and Trafalgar Secondary School, 94% (a 10% improvement).

Zonnebloem Nest improved its pass rate by 10% to score 85.2% and Salt River High School leapt 22% to score a pass rate of 70.8%.

Sans Souci principal Ruschda O Shea said she was proud of the matrics and teachers for pushing through the pandemic. “It shows that we are resilient and we can dig deep if needed.”

Top achiever at Claremont High School, Raheesa Firfirey.

Principal Dianne Morgan of Windsor High said they had stayed the course during hard times. “We are blessed to have a very hard-working staff who were prepared to go the extra mile,” she said.

The school’s top pupil, Yusra Stellenboom, scored five distinctions with an 81% aggregate. “I am shocked and grateful for my accomplishments,” she said, giving credit to her teachers, her parents, Adiel and Razaan Stellenboom, and YouTube tutorials.

The Western Cape’s 79.9% pass rate, 2.4%, down from the previous year, was third highest in the country, behind Free State with 85.1% and Gauteng with 83.8%.

When she announced the National Senior Certificate results on Monday, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said the national pass rate of 76.2% was down 5.1% from the record pass of 81.3% achieved by the class of 2019.

Head of Western Cape Education Department Brian Schreuder said the 2.4% drop in the province’s pass rate was the lowest decline in the country. “Our candidates also achieved the highest Bachelor pass rate ever,” he said.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said the province had seen the smallest drop in pass rate, and 66% of 2018’s Grade 10s had written matric last year, which was the highest pupil-retention rate in the country.

The top achiever at Sans Souci Girls’ High School, Taylor Claasen, with principal Ruschda O Shea.