Metro South awards top performers

YONELA SINQU

More than 100 former Grade 12 pupils were reminded just how hard work pays off, when they received their cerificates at an award ceremony on Saturday January 30.

At the ceremony were the top three schools in each of the seven circuits of the Metropole South District, which included, among others, the most improved school, Lentegeur High School, with their 15.5 percent improvement on the previous year’s pass rate.

Although no Mitchell’s Plain schools were awarded for achieving a 100 percent pass rate, Portland High School in Circuit 6 and hosts, Spine Road High School in Circuit 7 walked away with the schools with the most Bachelors passes in the area.

In the category for top three performing schools in each of the seven circuits, Portland High School came out tops of Circuit 6 followed by Oval North in second place and Beacon Hill in third place.

Circuit 6 and 7 include schools in Mitchell’s Plain.

Spine Road High School achieved first place in Circuit 7, followed by Mondale and Glendale high schools.

Guest speaker Wolfgang Ratz, who is the Overberg’s English curriculum advisor, reminded those who walked up to the stage to collect their awards that there were more exams to come.

Grade 12 pupil and deputy head girl at Spine Road High, Keshia Urias, who was among the six pupils invited to the ceremony, said an occassion such as this one made her even more nervous. However, she was confident they were going to make this year at Spine Road High a memorable one.

“It has only been two weeks since schools have reopened, but I can already feel the pressure mounting. Time is limited and before we know it we will be writing our final exams – there’s just no time to waste. Past pupils, from our school especially, have set the bar very high and we aim to maintain the standard which they have set for us.

“Although we remain focused at doing better than those before us, we also aim to have as much fun as this is our last year in school,” said Keshia.

Spine Road High School head boy Suhail Williams said they were working as a team to improve last year’s 99.9 percent pass rate to a 100 percent pass – and also aim to have the highest number of Bachelors passes.

Guest speaker and former Mondale High School pupil, Chelsea Dodo, said it’s easy to be intimidated when attending a school that is known for doing well.

“I was one of those when I walked into Mondale High School,” she added.

“But remember someone else is looking up to you. You might just be the inspiration someone else in your class or school needs. Walk, talk with your head held up high.

“Attending a school in a township or a not-so-affluent area like Mitchell’s Plain, should not be what defines you. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, go out and be the leader that this country needs.”

Programme director, Ashraf Gangraker said you know you have done something right when one of your former pupils enrols their own children at the school.

Spine Road High School principal Riyaadh Najaar, who has been at the school for 31 years, said to be among the top performing schools it all starts with the teachers.

“Last year we had the biggest Grade 12 class – 280 pupils.

“This was also the biggest class in the district. And we managed to achieve an 80 percent Bachelors pass rate. It’s not easy. But through the commitment shown by the teachers, our pupils follow the trend.

“We remain hopeful that the class of 2016 will once more do their best and give us impressive results, hence we invited the top six pupils to this event to motivate them,” he added.