‘Plain schools up their game

The class of 2016 at Tafelsig High School, pictured with Ricardo Mackenzie, a DA member of the provincial legislature and principal Rushda O Shea.

Nine of Mitchell’s Plain’s 16 high schools attained pass rates of 90 percent or more in the 2016 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exam.

In Mitchell’s Plain, 2 342 pupils wrote the national senior certificate examination, with 2 058 (87.8 percent) of them passing.

They form part of the Metro South Education District (MSED), which incorporates a total of 54 schools in areas stretching from the southern suburbs to Khayelitsha.

District director Glen van Harte said MSED, the second largest
district in the Western Cape, had
8 353 pupils who registered for the examination, with 7 961 of them writing the examination and 6 747 (84.75 percent) passing.

The biggest district, Metro East Education District (MEED) had 9 388 pupils registering for the examination, 8 996 writing it and
7 419 pupils (82.47 percent)

These figures, he compared to the Overberg Education District, which attained a pass rate of
92.6 percent (1 554 pupils, who passed out of 1 678 pupils).

“The bigger the number of candidates the bigger the risk of not meeting the target, which was at 86 percent but only 84.8 percent was achieved,” he said.

Mr Van Harte said, of the seven districts in the province, MSED had achieved the third highest number of Bachelor passes – 3 197 (40.16 percent) .

According to the Western Cape Education Department, 12 out of 16 schools in Mitchell’s Plain saw an increase in their pass rate. In 2015 Mitchell’s Plain schools achieved a pass rate of 85 percent and in 2016 have increased that to 87.8 percent.

The most improved schools were Aloe High, with a 15.6 percent increase, Strandfontein High with 11.4 percent, and Tafelsig High, with an increase of 7.4 percent.

WCED spokesperson Millicent Merton said overall there had been a 2.8 percent increase in the matric pass rate for schools in the area. She also said there had been an increase in the number of Bachelor’s passes.

“At the beginning of 2016, the district restructured its circuits to allow for more diverse groupings of schools per circuit and not merely geographical clustering. This has allowed for a greater sharing of best practices among schools,” she said. “We also ensured that the district focused on progressed and modularised learners.”

Ms Merton said the department did this by establishing the Khanya centre in Portland. She said the strategy had paid off handsomely and that focused tutorial programmes with greater support from parents had contributed to the success in the area.

HEADY: Hard work, discipline the recipe for success

Mondale High School missed a 100 percent pass rate by a hair’s breadth when a pupil failed two subjects.

Principal Owen Bridgens said while it was unfortunate, they would request to have the script remarked to help the pupil.

The Portland school had 240 pupils enter the NSC exam during which a pupil took ill and could not complete his certificate; 239 pupils wrote and 238 pupils passed, giving the 2016 matric class 99.6 percent pass rate.

In November 2015 the school recorded that 246 pupils wrote the exam, with 244 of them passing, translating to a 99.2 percent pass rate. After the results were certified, however, the WCED reported that 246 pupils wrote and that everyone had passed, achieving 100 percent.

Mr Bridgens said the quality of passes was improving every year. “For us the target is always 100 percent,” he said.

The school started with Saturday classes in April, which continued throughout the school holidays during which they tried to reach every pupil.

He said the quality of results should improve drastically in Mitchell’s Plain as teachers with years of experience form the core of staff at most schools in the area.

Top pupil at Mondale High School, Orlando Jaftha, from Strandfontein, achieved seven distinctions – 81 percent for English, 90 percent for Afrikaans, 89 percent for mathematics, 81 percent for life orientation, 98 percent for accounting, 85 percent for life sciences and 90 percent for physical science.

He will be studying computer science at Stellenbosch University this year.

In close second was Jianni Williams, from New Woodlands, with six distinctions. “Just try to be a better person than you were the day before,” she said.

“Put God first and you’ll never come second,” she said.

She will be studying engineering at Stellenbosch.

In second place among Mitchell’s Plain’s high schools, was Spine Road High School in Rocklands, with a pass rate of 98.7 percent. Principal Riyaadh Najaar said he was extremely proud of his pupils, as the quality of the results had improved compared to the previous years and more pupils were now able to enter university.

Of the school’s 225 matric exam candidates, said Mr Najaar,

“we had 129 pupils who did pure maths and 90 of them who did physical science”.

“The school did exceptionally well, despite not having a 100 percent pass. A total of 150 pupils got an A (distinction) in a subject,” he said.

Mr Najaar said the teachers and staff of the school were supportive and only wanted the best for the pupils. “We drive our children to excellence. We cannot praise them when they are mediocre. They need to excel in everything they do. If they obtain 80 percent, it means they didn’t know 20 percent (of the work),” he said.

Spine Road High pupil Hamima Mullah,18, from Lentegeur achieved eight distinctions and is the top pupil at the school.

“It feels good to obtain these marks, but I believe that there is always room for improvement,” she said.

Hamima said she studied before the exams, went through past papers and had the support of family and teachers. Hamima said she loved numbers and would be studying actuarial science at UCT.

Spine Road High pupil Wiedaad Classen,19, from Montrose Park achieved 92 percent, the second highest result at the school. “I am overwhelmed and proud of myself because the hard work paid off. On the day my results (were released) I was nervous about how I was going to pass,” she said.

Wiedaad aims to become a chartered account and will be studying at Stellenbosch University.

Portland High School, was in third place, with a 98.6 percent pass rate (137 out of 139), compared to 97.8 percent (178 out of 182) in 2015, and 82.7 percent (181 out of 219) in 2014. The two previous years Portland High had pass rates in the 70 percentages.

In fourth place is independent school, Darul Arqam High School, in Eastridge, with a pass rate of 97 percent (33 out of 34 candidates passed) compared to its 95.1 percent (39 out of 41 candidates passed) in 2015.

Tafelsig High principal Rushda O’Shea said the school had seen a huge improvement in its results, from 85. 8 percent to 93.1 percent. “I am ecstatic. I am proud of the pupils and the staff. It was a tough year but we made it. We put a lot of pressure on our pupils and kept monitoring them. We also had frequent meetings with parents and informed them if their children were slacking,” she said.

The school’s top achiever, Leslie Japhta, 18, from Tafelsig achieved 74 percent. He did eight subjects, as opposed to seven, which is the minimum requirement. As a result, he had to attend extra classes. “I am the first one to pass matric in my family, and this makes me very happy. I am thankful to all who assisted and supported me,” he said.

Leslie will be studying BComm at UCTGlendale High School’s top pupil, Kirsten Hattingh, 18, from Tafelsig, attained seven out of nine distinctions – 80 percent for English home language, 94 percent for Afrikaans first additional language, 66 percent for mathematics, 88 percent for life orientation, 77 percent for business studies, 93 percent for computer applications technology, 81 percent for economics and 94 percent for tourism.

Kirsten is the third eldest of four children and is the first and only son to have matriculated.

“I achieved it through hard work, dedication, sacrifice, together with the help of my teachers, AK Snapshots Study Group and the motivation from my parents,” he said.

He said his parents had been emotional because he was the first in their family to matriculate and surprised them with his achievement.

Kirsten said to achieve success, it was essential to be disciplined and would put his cellphone cupboard to avoid any distractions. His advice for future matric pupils is: “There is always time to make up stepping stone to persevere and we can still to move forward to because yes you can,” he said.