Top matric achiever wants to give back

Ilham Khan from Rylands High School made the merit list with eight distinctions. With her, are Premier Helen Zille, Education MEC Debbie Schäfer and head of department Brian Schreuder.

Ilham Khan has done her family and school proud after achieving eight distinctions in her National Senior Certificate (NSC) 2016 exam.

On Thursday January 12, the Rylands High School pupil received an award for excellence in academic achievement at the Western Cape National Senior Certificate Awards Ceremony at Leeuwenhof, the premier’s official residence.

Her results ensured that she retained her place for the third year in a row as top of her grade, with a 90 percent aggregate.

The 18-year-old plans to study medicine at the Stellenbosch University this year.

Her interest in medicine came about this year when her mother underwent a spine operation while she wrote her mid-year exams.

“I want to study medicine to help people in underprivileged areas and give them affordable health care,” she said.

The Crawford resident said she felt quite overwhelmed with her achievement and was very grateful for her results.

Ilham’s father, Faizel Khan, said he was very proud of his daughter, who is the first of his children to matriculate.

“She has set the bar quite high for her other two siblings. She is an inspiration to them.

“She started studying very early already and visited the library quite often to get study guides. She sacrificed her evenings and holidays, so it is a well-deserved achievement,” he said.

Kona Naidoo, principal of Rylands High School, said he was extremely proud of Ilham’s results.

“I wish her all the best with her studies. We are certain that she will continue with her excellent results, and will keep the Rylands High Flag flying high,” he said.

Ilham added that her parents had both been very supportive. “When you walk in the streets, you realise that there are lots of people that do not have the opportunity to go and study, so I use that as my motivation to do well,” she said.