Highs and lows of matric results

Pictured are Groenvlei High Schools top achievers, from left, Amber Brown in fourth place, Aarifah Dalwaai who took first place, and Lauren Rhodes who came in second.

The matric class of 2017 can finally move forward with their lives after they received their National Senior Certificate results last week.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the national matric pass rate of 75.1% on Thursday January 4, although matrics in the Western Cape only got their results a day later.

The Western Cape came third, with a pass rate of 82.8%, down by 3% from 2016 and behind Free State with 86% and Gauteng with 85%.

Thirteen Athlone schools scored lower pass rates this year, while six schools improved their results and two remained the same.

Star International High School achieved a 100% pass rate for the fifth year in a row, while Athlone Secondary School again recorded an 87.4% pass rate.

At Groenvlei High School, the matric class came in with a 90.5% pass rate, down from last year’s 91.4 percent.

The school’s top achiever, Aarifah Dalwaai, earned four distinctions for English, Life Orientation, History, and Life Sciences. She is really proud of herself as she worked hard.

“The work was really difficult and I had some personal issues but I pushed through and I’m glad I made it.”

Aarifah attributed her success to her grandmother who raised her and has been her support system since day one.

“My advice to those who have failed is never to give up. Work hard until you achieve your matric certificate. This year I will be studying pharmacy at UWC,” she said.

Deputy principal of Groenvlei High School, Vanessa Prinsloo, said pupils who failed must not feel discouraged and should apply to write their supplementary exams.

“Strength to those who have to write supplementary exams but we also want to celebrate our 90.5% pass rate. I applaud you for your results. Although you had challenges, although it was difficult to come to school and stay late because of gang violence, you overcame that,” she said.

Jessica Shelver, the spokeswoman for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, congratulated the 2017 matrics.

“We are especially pleased that the Western Cape has again achieved the highest percentage of Bachelor’s passes in the country, with 39.1% of pupils achieving this quality pass,” she said.

Ms Shelver said the Western Cape achieved the highest proportion of mathematics passes, Bachelor’s passes and distinctions.

Former teacher and co-founder of Step-up Education Centres, Cindy Glass, said that every year, teachers, principals, pupils and parents focused on the preparation and writing of the final matric examinations and every year they were left feeling battered and disappointed at the less-than-desirable results.

“With a 75.1% national pass rate, this year was not much different to years past.

“Only three quarters of matrics achieved success and this, despite, increased attempts to improve the outcome of the matric exams,” she said.

Emotional intelligence, training, cutting red tape and getting the basics right were key to improving the matric pass rate.

“The challenges being experienced in our attempts to improve the matric results are seemingly overwhelming, but they are not impossible.

“The only thing stopping South Africa from setting sustainable trends in education is our fear of change. Let’s stop what we are doing and find solutions which will result in a better South Africa for all,” she said.

Belgravia Secondary School: 89.7%, up from 88.1% last year

Cathkin High School: 97%, up from 88.4%

Islamia College 97.1%, up from 96.5%

Silverstream High School: 66.7%, up from 60%

Alexander Sinton: 89.7%, down from 95.8%

Crystal Secondary: 70.9%, down from 72.2%

Darul Islam Islamic High: 78.8%, down from 90.4%

Garlandale Secondary: 76.4%, down from 83.7%

Heideveld High School: 88.8%, down from 89.1%

Manenberg High School: 47.1%, down from 73%

Mount View Secondary with 55.4%, down from 89.6%

Ned Doman: 87.3% down from last year’s 100%

Peak View with 81.4%, down from 100%

Phoenix High School: 65.2%, down from 80.4%

Rylands High School 96.9%, down from 98.9%,

Spes Bona: 42.5%, down from 70.1%

The Leadership College: 90%, down from 91.9%