CLASS ACT: Matriculants who achieved excellence in the exams and against all odds were honoured by Premier Helen Zille at Leeuwenhof, her official residence.Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
Cape Town - Western Cape matriculants who achieved excellence in the exams and who did it against all odds were honoured by Premier Helen Zille at Leeuwenhof, her official residence.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said a school like Lavender Hill High, where the pass rate increased from 68.8% to 88.6%, had shown an exceptional improvement. Aloe High in Mitchells Plain also increased its pass rate from 51.4% in 2015 to 87.2% last year.

“This is an outstanding achievement. Fisantekraal High School has gone from 64.4% in 2016 to 79.5% in 2017. I would like to specially mention schools that are plagued by gangsterism, violence and poor socio-economic circumstances and yet have improved their results significantly. And learners from these schools have to learn under the most difficult circumstances,” she said.

Schäfer said she was not happy the province’s pass rate dropped. The Western Cape is third in the country with 84.4%. Its pass rate dropped 3.3%. “In maths, the Western Cape achieved the highest pass rate of 73.9%. More pupils in the Western Cape are taking maths and science as a percentage of the cohort, something that we have been encouraging over a number of years.

“The province retained 64.3% of learners in the system from Grade 10 to matric. In the Western Cape, our focus will remain on whether we have increased the numbers and percentages of candidates passing and the quality of those passes.

“I am proud of our schools that worked hard. It is important to note that 16.8% of schools achieved a 100% pass rate, while more than 40% of schools achieved a pass rate of 90% or above and 18 schools in the province achieved a 95% bachelor’s pass.”

Zille said she had noticed that the raw scores in maths had increased.

“The retention rates in schools are critical. I am quite happy that we are improving and keeping learners in schools. One matriculant who lost her mother in Grade 11, and had to move to study, still passed matric and received distinctions.”

Western Cape education head Brian Schreuder said they were determined to bring quality education to every learner.

The top pupil in the province and the country is Janke van Dyk from Bellville High. Second, in the Western Cape, is Matthys Louis Carstens from Durbanville High, and third is Erin Michael Solomon from Rondebosch Boys’ High School.

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Cape Argus