Pupils show why they are ‘grande’

The 12 mathematics competition winners from Rio Grande Primary School, proudly show off their certificates and trophies. With them are teachers Kader Barendse and Musturah Arend.

Pupils at Rio Grande Primary outperformed their peers at seven other schools when they took the top three positions from Grade 4 to Grade 7 in a mathematics competition.

The competition is a Western Cape Education Department (WCED) initiative, and schools from the Metro Central Education District (MCED) were divided into different regions. Rio Grande took the top honours in Region 3.

According to Rio Grande principal, Brenda Manuel, the first round of the competition happened at the individual schools. All the pupils from Grade 4 to Grade 7 were given the opportunity to write the test. Those who achieved 70% and above, were then selected to take part in the final round of the competition, which was held on Saturday September 1. The school had 13 pupils who made the criteria to take part in the finals, and 12 of them took the top three positions for each grade in the competition.

Ms Manuel said when she received the news, she was first informed about the Grade 4 and Grade 5 results.

“I was ecstatic. I was very emotional. I knew we had the potential for our pupils to make the top three, but it was a huge surprise to later hear that we won all the top spots in the different grades. I would like to honour our teachers for this significant achievement. They go beyond their call of duty. There are so many negative things reported about Manenberg, but this is good news that needs to be spread,” Ms Manuel said.

Musturah Arend, Grade 5 teacher, said the children were tested on the work they do in their curriculum.

“I gave them extra lessons after school in order to prepare them for the test. I was not surprised when they did so well, because I have a lot of confidence in them,” she said.

Grade 7 teacher, Kader Barendse, said their school’s systemic results for mathematics also improved significantly, so much so that the school got a special mention from the head of education in the province, Brian Schrueder.

“We are moving forward as the best mathematics school in Manenberg,” Mr Barendse said.

The winners in Grade 4 are, Zayaan Alkana, who took first place, Rayzeen Petersen in second place and Zea Hartman came in third. The Grade 5 winners are Jade Norman in first place, Zayaan Mohammed in second and Ramona Olieslager in third place. In Grade 6, Jordan Lee Lezar took the top spot, followed by Leonardine Merman in second place and Shaheed Fredericks in third. The Grade 7 winners are Raihana Williams in first place, Cisario Fisher in second place and Renecia Petersen in third place.