Matric class of 2019 excels

Mondale High School matriculants Kiara America, Annette Oelf, Divine Johannes, Chelsea Paulse and Nurein Sadick.

More than 2 000 matric pupils at Mitchell’s Plain’s 17 high schools passed their National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams last year.

The class of 2019 had 2 580 candidates, who sat for the examination and 2 109 (81.74%) of them passed.

Spine Road High School in Rocklands had 200 candidates and achieved a pass rate of 99% – an increase from 2018’s 98.3%. Two pupils failed.

Principal Mark Fairbairn said they never met their 100% target but that 157 of their matriculants achieved Bachelor’s passes, which enables them to enrol for university.

In 2014 and 2017 the school attained 100% pass rates (“Matric result record”, Plainsman, January 7, 2015 and “Top marks for Spine Road High”, Plainsman, January 8, 2018). In addition, the school also attained 100% pass rates for mathematics and history in 2017.

Asked whether load shedding, gang violence or his home environment had affected his studies, Spine Road High School matriculant Justin Krynauw, 18, from Tafelsig, on receipt of his results on Wednesday January 8, said: “It is a decision you make that nothing is going to distract you from studying, attending extra classes or completing your matric year successfully.”

Justin along with Kayla Damon, 17, from Beacon Valley, and Toufiq Meyer, 18, from Rocklands, said they attended after-school classes until 4pm for the first two school terms, Monday to Friday and on Saturday Shawco classes from 8.30am until 2pm.

“Every day except Sundays, when I would go to church and get studying,” said Kayla.

Kayla would like to study conservation ecology at the University of Cape Town. She had also applied to Stellenbosch University and the University of the Western Cape. She ranked seventh in Spine Road’s top 10 achievers in the class of 2019.

Spine Road High School’s top achiever, Mbasakazi Songololo from Khayelitsha, attained seven distinctions, including 100% for business studies.

She was in Johannesburg with her mother during the holiday, but her maternal aunt Zandile Songololo was there to collect her results.

“She is a really hard worker. She likes to read and (she likes) business. I can just see her as the chief executive officer, owning a company,” Ms Songololo said.

Speaking to the Plainsman telephonically on Monday January 13, Mbasakazi, who was still in Johannesburg, said: “I am very proud of myself. It was my goal to achieve 100% for business and I did it”.

She will be studying international business at Stellenbosch University this year because she loves economics and the diversity the course offers, coupled with the possibility of learning other languages and travelling to other countries to see how business is practised elsewhere.

“I’ve always wanted to travel. I believe that when you have a goal, you work hard towards it and keep a positive mindset. You can achieve it, no matter how big it is. Hard work and positivity will get you there,” is Mbasakazi’s advice for the class of 2020.

Mondale High School in Portland took a bit of a dive from their first 100% achievement in 2018 to 98.1% in 2019. They had 264 candidates of which 259 passed.

Principal Owen Bridgens said it was a bit of a challenge because the five who failed had repeated either Grades 10 or 11.

The school had 171 pupils pass with Bachelor passes.

Matriculants of 2019 have advised this year’s matric pupils to resolve that nothing would distract them from achieving their goals.

Mondale High School’s top achiever, Siyakha Mbhejwa from Blue Downs, has been accepted to study medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg this year.

Siyakha, who attained six distinctions, said growing up in an informal settlement infested with gangsterism, crime and unemployment before moving to Blue Downs, motivated her to stay at home, and focus on her school work instead of what was going on around her.

Siyakha and Mondale’s runners-up Wade Jacobs, 18, from Westridge, and Lutho Ngweventsha, 18, from Khayelitsha, were study buddies in the morning before writing exams.

Lutho said it was important to work hard and to stick with people, who have a similar mindset.