Cape Town - With a pass rate of 92.6% as well as producing the country’s top matriculants in the Special Needs Education category, the matric class of 2023 at Athlone School for the Blind in Bellville is living proof that you get out what you put in.
Of the 14 matriculants at the school, 13 passed, the learner who did not make it, fell ill during the year and was unable to write her exams.
Out of the 13 who passed, six obtained a bachelor’s pass.
On Wednesday these learners were honoured by the school as well as the world humanitarian group Gift of the Givers.
Principal John Philander encouraged the learners to use their awards and certificates as a constant reminder of their hard work in their daily lives.
“You are an achiever, despite obstacles you found yourself facing and despite conditions you found yourself in, it did not waver you, your diligence and hard work paid off,” he says.
Philander also took time to congratulate their stand-out matriculants, Samkelo Gumada and Nizibone Mapolisa, who were recognised on the national stage after they placed first and third in the national matric results for Special Needs.
“We should take this moment and be proud that the top learners in the country come from us, the very school you are attending,” he says.
Circuit 6 Manager John Matiso also motivated the rest of the school using the matric class of 2023 as an example.
“This is proof that if there is self-determination, nothing is impossible. There should always be that drive, it should start in the morning when you get another chance to open your eyes. Remain focused and become ambassadors of hope,” he says.
Gift of the Givers spokesperson Ali Sablay thanked the matric class of 2023 for being role models and putting the school on the map.
“To our two heroes of the country, Samkelo and Nizibone, we are really proud of you guys and to celebrate your success on behalf of the staff and management we would like to present to you guys two laptops to make it easier when you guys go to University.
“Do not forget where you came from, do not forget the sacrifices that your parents made, the community, and your school.”
Education MEC David Maynier says the achievement meant a lot to the department.
“We are delighted that Samkelo has been recognised as the top achieving learner with special needs and that Nizibone was placed third in the same category.
“These learners have excelled despite the challenges they have had to overcome, and are truly inspiring candidates. We congratulate Athlone School for the Blind on this outstanding achievement, and thank the staff for the care, support and love they show our learners every day.
“Our top achievers demonstrate that our learners can do anything they can set their mind to,” he said.