Matrics shine despite another tough year

Windsor High School’s top-three matric pupils, from left, are Rukeyah Martin, Layla Taliep and Shabana Hoosain.

Southern suburbs schools have triumphed over another tough year plagued by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the matric results.

Rondebosch Boys’ High School scored a 100% pass rate for the 14th year in a row, and one of its pupils, Ziyaad Banderker, got the highest marks in the country for maths.

Cannons Creek Independent School also held onto its 100% pass rate – a result the school has maintained since it opened in 1999.

Pupils Kelsey Hendricks, Ilhaam Cassiem, and Samantha Nelson received a full-house of distinctions for all their subjects.

Kelsey advises this year’s matrics to “lean on people who support you because they’ll be there when you feel like you can’t get up and carry on; they’ll be the people that give you the strength to keep going”.

Principal Mike van Haght praised the Class of 2021. “Well done to your parents. The families have made sacrifices, and through difficult Covid years, 2020 was tough, 2021 was even tougher, and yet you made it.”

Herschel Girls also scored a 100% pass rate, with 17 pupils achieving over 90% and 61 pupils achieving over 80% .

Top performers Jessica Prevôst, Safia Mia and Natasha Paul passed with 96.2%, 95% and 94.3%, respectively.

“Despite the uncertainty created by the pandemic and the disruption which the matrics experienced in their Grade 11 year, they have performed exceptionally well. We are so proud of the commitment and determination that they have shown,” said head Heather Goedeke.

Rounding off the 100% club were SACs, Bishops, Michael Oak Waldorf School, Vista Nova School, Westerford High School, Rustenburg Girls’ High School and Star College.

And schools knocking at the door included Claremont High School with 98.9%, Livingstone High School with 98.7%, Pinelands High School with 98.9%, Sans Souci Girls’ High School with 98.9%, St George’s Grammar School with 97.1%, Rosebank Progress College with 96.6%, Windsor High School with 94.2%, Abbotts College with 93.9%, Islamia College with 93.5% and St Joseph’s College with 92.6%.

Windsor High’s top pupil, Layla Taliep, received a Bachelor’s pass and three distinctions for maths, Afrikaans and history. “It doesn’t feel real, the feeling that I passed matric is still sinking in,” she said.

Layla started preparing a month in advance for her matric exams and led maths classes amongst her peers. “It put me in a position of teaching. It inspired me to follow my studies of doing a BCom in teaching at UCT,” she said.

Claremont High School principal Murray Gibbon said they were exceptionally proud of all their matrics. “With all the challenges matric brings as well as all the added pressure Covid-19 had on their academic year. We wish them well and every success in their future endeavours.”

The Western Cape had a pass rate of 81.2%, up from 79.9% the previous year and the third highest in the country, behind the Free State with 85.7% and Gauteng with 82.8%.

“Considering that this was achieved after two years of a global pandemic, makes it even more remarkable,” said Education MEC Debbie Schäfer.

“The Class of 2021 has had a tough two years. Their Grade 11 year in 2020 was marred by school closures, with their Grade going back to class later than many others. However, their matric year has been very stable, with more time in class than in other matric years,” she said.

Claremont High School top pupil Nuha Adams with principal Murray Gibbon.
Cannons Creek top pupils displaying the number of distinctions they have, from left, are Kelsey Hendricks, Jamie Hindmarch, Kerry Porrill and Samantha Nelson.
Herschel Girls’ High School’s top matriculants Jessica Prevôst, left, who finished first, and Natasha Paul, who finished third.