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Pretoria - The girls have come out on tops in Tshwane. They can pride themselves at being among the best performing matriculants in the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) matric results which were released on Tuesday.
The IEB’s pass rate for 2013 is 98.56 percent, a slight improvement from last year’s 98.2. This year, 9 580 full-time and 586 part-time candidates from 185 schools across the country wrote the examinations.
IEB chief executive Anne Oberholzer said: “It is no secret that talent or intelligence alone does not produce academic success and excellent results in the NSC examination.
Such achievement is the result of many years of hard work from these candidates.
It is true too that good teaching and access to learning resources do assist, but without the commitment of a learner to play his or her part, it is impossible to have this success.
“I must emphasise the role played by teachers and parents in supporting these young people to reach this important milestone.”
One of the city’s top pupils is Madelene Cronje, from Hatfield Christian School, who achieved an impressive 10 distinctions. She was excited about her results.
“Juggling 10 subjects, sports, a social life and enough sleep proved to be quite challenging at some stages,” she said. She plans to study B Com accounting at the University of Pretoria next year.
Schoolmate Heike Schroder also featured among the outstanding pupils with eight distinctions.
Heike said: “My matric year was both a challenge and extra special.”
She is going to take a gap year and do the Target Life Programme at Lewende Woord Church.
“It will teach me life skills and other things I need. I will then study architecture at the University of Pretoria in 2015.”
Their principal Julian Hitchcock said: “We are so proud of the class. This is the first time we had everyone pass with university entrance.”
Cornwall Hill College was one of the city’s top schools with two pupils, Dux Scholar Megan Meyer and Tarryn Sheppard, listed among the outstanding achievers in the IEB matric exams.
Megan said: “I took 10 subjects so I did not think I would get nine distinctions.
“I was hoping for eight distinctions and now that I got nine I am extremely excited.”
She will study B Accounting LLB at the University of Stellenbosch.
Tarryn, who achieved eight distinctions and was listed in the top 5 percent of candidates, said: “I knew that I would do well but just not how well. It is very exciting.” She is going to study actuarial science at the University of Pretoria.
Nothando Ntombela also did the school proud with nine distinctions.
She is going to do a year-long learnership with Anglo American.
“I will then study chemical engineering at the University of Cape Town in 2015.”
The college’s principal, Dennis Maritz, said: “It is with a sense of great achievement that the college has again recorded a pass rate of 100 percent. This means Cornwall has continued the proud tradition of ensuring that every matriculant who has completed Grade 12 at the college over its 15-year history has passed.” He added that 89 percent of candidates achieved a bachelor’s degree pass.
“These outstanding results are a credit to both the class of 2013 and the college.
“They are the result of the diligence of the pupils, the dedication of the teaching staff and the support and encouragement of parents. Education is a partnership,” said Maritz.
Angus Paterson, principal of St Mary’s DSG, said: “We are very, very proud. We are pleased with the whole bunch.”
Not only did they achieve a 100 percent pass rate with 95 percent of pupils receiving university passes, but one of their pupils, Emily Millar, is one of the IEB’s outstanding pupils and another, Melany Codling, scooped nine distinctions.
“Schooling is not all that it is about, it is about what you do with the rest of your life. We believe that in this year’s class we have a group destined for great things,” said Paterson.
And Emily is setting her sights very high. Next year she will be studying medicine and ultimately wants to win a Nobel Prize.
Enjoying a holiday at the coast, Emily said she loved her matric year despite the heavy workload.
Melany also wants to make a difference and wants to specialise in reconstructive surgery after studying medicine at Stellenbosch University.
Not surprisingly, her role model is Bill Magee, founder of Operation Smile, an international organisation, which assists children with facial disorders free of charge.
When it comes the IEB’s commendable list – pupils who were within the top 5 percent of pupils in five subjects and scored more than 80 percent for life orientation – the Pretoria Chinese School’s Shinny Chen made the list.
She plans to study actuarial science at the University of Pretoria and will also do community service during the holidays.