The Western Cape Education Department celebrated 2022’s top matriculants at its annual National Senior Certificate awards ceremony in Leeuwenhof, Cape Town on Thursday.
David Maynier, the MEC for education in the Western Cape spoke about the challenges that the learners faced during their matric year. The 2022 group were in Grade 10 when the country entered lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic and they have had to contend with load shedding which affected their learning schedules.
“I’d like to take a moment to recognise the work of our exams team, led by Bertram Loriston who exemplifies grace under pressure when faced with the most challenging of situations. Thank you for ensuring that the largest group of candidates ever could successfully write their matric exams, even in the face of load shedding and a massive taxi strike in Cape Town,“ said Maynier.
The total pass rate for the year 2022 in the Western Cape increased to 81.4%
“Our quintile 1 schools raised their pass rate by 2 percentage points to 70.8%, beating quintile 2 schools, and our quintile 3 schools also increased their pass rate by 0.3 percentage points, to 76.1%,” said Maynier.
Schools around the country are classified into quintiles based on the relative wealth of their surrounding communities. Quintiles 1, 2 and 3 are classified as no fee schools because they are based in poor areas.
Five of the ten most improved public schools in the province are in quintile 3. Two quintile 2 schools, Usasazo Senior Secondary School and Intlanganiso Senior Secondary School, received an award for improvements in mathematics and physical science; both schools are located in Khayelitsha.
Awards to learners
Athenkosi Khonzani from the quintile 3 Centre of Science and Technology (COSAT) in Harare, Khayelitsha, was the fifth highest achiever in the Western Cape. He managed to pass all his subjects with flying colours which earned him three certificates and prize money worth R6,000 each for achieving 100% in mathematics, physical science and information technology. He also got a merit award for excellent achievement worth R10,000.
“I have been accepted at UCT and I will be studying towards electrical and computer engineering, “said Khonzani. He credited the support he received from his school for getting him to where he is.
Amongst the many people present at the ceremony were the parents filled with joy to see their children’s success. “I am a single parent and as a single parent there are a lot of challenges and hindrances, so for me to sit here and hear my daughter’s name being called up on stage, it makes me realise just how I have done well and right,” Ronelle Rossouw, the mother of Shannon Rossouw from Cedar Senior Secondary School in Mitchells Plain, said. “I did eight subjects and got a total of seven distinctions, and I think it was the overall support that I got from everyone close to me, especially my mother, that made me achieve this level in academics,” said Shannon.
Sokanya Mdwayi from Chris Hani Senior Secondary School in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, also received seven distinctions for all her subjects and is enrolled for a law degree at the University of Western Cape. “I am so proud of my daughter; her hard work paid off, especially with the load shedding in the country. I tried and made sure at all times she is able to work despite the electricity cuts,” said Nompumezo Mdwayi, Sokanya’s mother.
In closing the ceremony, Maynier once again thanked everyone present from school principals, parents and students. “As you leave here today, some of you will reach top positions in your life. Never forget where you come from. Today you have taken a giant leap; let that work for you and may you all go on and do great things,” concluded the MEC.