When the matric results were announced last week, Sinenjongo High School celebrated not only an 85.7% pass rate, but also its largest contingent of candidates, with 161 Sinenjongo pupils having written the matric exam.
Tears of joy and shrieks of delight filled school halls across the city as matriculants received their National Senior Certificate (NSC) exam results last week.
While Sinenjongo principal Khuleswa Nopote was content with the pass rate which they had sustained for the past nine years, her excitement was overshadowed by the passing of Maggie Rowley of the Rabie Property Group.
Ms Rowley, who succumbed to cancer on December 31, had been instrumental in building a new school for Sinenjongo which had previously operated from container classrooms in Joe Slovo.
The building of the school was a shared project between the Department of Transport and Public Works for the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and Rabie Property.
Ms Nopote was overcome with emotion as she told the matriculants waiting in line for their results of the role Ms Rowley had played in the school’s success.
“Maggie did so much for us. Our pupils benefited a lot from her,” she said.
Sinenjongo’s top pupil was Zoliswa Mthintsilana who scored straight As, achieving 88% in maths and 87% in physical science. She will be studying medicine at UCT this year.
Several schools in Tabletalk’s distribution area also achieved 100% pass rates.
Among them was Milnerton High School where, for the 15th consecutive year, all the matriculants passed, with 80% of them having achieved Bachelor’s passes, which make them eligible for university study.
The six candidates who each obtained seven As are the school’s top matriculant Zharea Henkerman, Bryony Bosman, Brandon Ferreira, Cameron Misplon, Matthew Gruning and Sherkira Seeley.
Zharea, from Melkbosstrand, plans to study mechatronic engineering at Stellenbosch University.
Headmaster Paul Besener said it was a privilege to lead a school of this calibre where pupils and parents believe it’s cool to do well. “Isn’t it unbelievable to have six pupils achieve seven distinctions. The school governing body, parents and especially the staff need to be acknowledged for buying into the ethos we are trying to create in our school,” he said.
Parklands College also achieved a 100% pass rate with 31 A Aggregates. Among the top achievers were Tara Grobbelaar, Frank Smuts and Cecilia van der Walt who each scored eight distinctions.
CBC St John’s in Parklands achieved an 81.6% bachelor pass. Its top pupil was Rachele Furgione with six distinctions.
Tafelberg School in Bothasig also achieved a 100% pass rate, with 74% of its pupils achieving Bachelor’s passes and 26% diploma passes. Their top pupil was Jezi O’Hagan who passed with an aggregate of 72%.
Vice-principal Lee-Anne Benecke said the school’s success was the result of an “amazing” school governing body and teachers “who treat each child as their own”.
“Being a special needs school, our learners need and respond well to this,” she said.
Also among the schools which achieved a 100% pass rate was Table View High School, whose matriculants achieved a 74% Bachelor’s pass rate, six A aggregates and 30 B aggregates. Their top candidate was Jasmine Volker whose aggregate was 90.71% and who achieved seven As. She will be studying chemical engineering at UCT this year.
Edgemead High congratulated their Dux pupil Kaedi Mostert who achieved seven distinctions and an average of 92.6%. She has been awarded the Yvonne Parfitt bursary to study medicine at Stellenbosch University this year.
After the results were announced last week, Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said the percentage of candidates who passed had increased from 75.7% in 2009 to 81.5% in 2018 – an increase of 5.8%.
Gauteng again took the top spot, with an 87.9% pass rate, followed by the Free State with 87.5% and Western Cape, with 81.5% and maintaining their number one spot for the highest pass rate in mathematics.
“Matric results are our second key measure of the state of education in our province. The Western Cape Government has always maintained that indicators of quality go well beyond the overall pass rate. We focus on the quality of the passes and the retention of as many pupils as possible in the school system so that we can ensure the best possible opportunities for our young people in the Western Cape,” she said.