Thandokhulu Secondary School still increased matric pass rate despite challenges
Cape Town - In spite of numerous disruptions to the academic year and the inability to move classes online, Thandokhulu Secondary School in Mowbray saw an increase in its National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass rate for 2020.
Brown envelopes concealing results were handed out by staff members, allowing 10 students in at a time, to conform with Covid-19 protocol, on Tuesday. Students stood with bated breath while educators could be seen congratulating learners or offering reassuring words.
Although situated in Mowbray, the maths and science-focused school serves mostly learners from Phillipi, Nyanga, Langa, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Cape Flats.
Principal Jimmy de Villiers said that over the past five years, the Grade 12 class had performed consistently and all hands on deck were needed to ensure that learners received the necessary support and resources.
“We’ve been hovering around an almost 90% average pass rate. In 2019 it dropped to 87% and then it went up in 2020 by 1.3% to 88.3%.”
De Villiers said the school was not able to move classes completely online. “Many of our students do not have smartphones or they share smartphones. Reception in some of the areas where our students live is intermittent and also data access - those are stumbling blocks that we struggled to overcome.”
Teachers, however, made use of Whatsapp groups to share learning material.
De Villiers said that 179 learners sat for the NSC exam.
“Their discipline was better than the year before because they knew that this was a challenge for everybody with the threat of this disease and we just had to stay focused and work with the teachers to get through the year.”
Top learner Luvo Makeleni, 17, from Phillipi, secured six distinctions.
He said: “I'm ecstatic and elated having heard how I performed. I probably think I should have done better but considering how 2020 was, I'm quite satisfied. Being a student in 2020 was tough. One thing that I had to really be careful of was not using that as an excuse. ”
The school has been a part of and supported by the Adopt-a-School Foundation since 2013.