Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schaffer visited Elswood High School 2020 matriculants ahead of them receiving their matric results. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)
Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schaffer visited Elswood High School 2020 matriculants ahead of them receiving their matric results. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

Winde filled with pride at the achievements of matric class of 2020

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Feb 23, 2021

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Cape Town – Premier Alan Winde says he is proud of the achievements of the Western Cape matric class of 2020, following the release of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results.

Winde said the province's matrics managed a remarkable feat in “an unprecedented year”, in which schools were closed and learning interrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Western Cape came in the third position with the pass rate of 79.9%, a decline of 2.4% from 2019.

It trailed the Free State, which achieved an 85.1% pass, and Gauteng with a 83.8% pass.

Winde said the decline in the pass rate was the lowest provincial decline and it was lower than the average national decrease.

He also commended the matriculants for the increased the number of bachelor's passes - bring it to the highest level recorded in the province - with 43.8% of Western Cape matric learners achieving a bachelor's pass.

“I am most proud of the fact that the Western Cape has the highest retention rate in the country – with 66% of the learners who started grade 10 in 2018, completing their matric this year.

“Together with the bachelor's passes, this means that more young people in our province will have access to more opportunities in the future,” Winde said.

“Beyond the results, you have many reasons to be proud of yourselves. Never before has a matric class experienced what you have gone through in the past year.

“You have had your schools closed, you have had to adjust to learning in new ways, and you have had to deal with the fear and uncertainty of returning to school in a pandemic.

“Many of you will also have experienced loss and grief.

“And yet, you did not allow this to stop you from completing your matric year,” he said.

The premier said that when they go and collect their results, he urges them to remember all the challenges they’ve overcome.

“If your results are not as you had hoped, please do not give up and explore all the options available to you to complete matric.

“I would also like to extend a special thank you to all of those people who have supported our matrics as they have worked towards this point – parents, caregivers, neighbours, family members and friends,” Winde said.

“And finally, I want to thank the teachers, principals, school staff and Western Cape Education Department (WCED) officials, who went above and beyond last year.”

Outgoing WCED Head of Department, Brian Schreuder, said he is pleased that the impact of Covid-19 wasn’t more severe.

“I want to thank our principals and teachers for that achievement. I am most appreciative that during times of uncertainty, stress and fear, they rose to the challenge before them, inspiring, encouraging and supporting our matriculants right to the end.

“We today acknowledge the teachers who “reinvented” their teaching styles during hard lockdown to ensure that learners had access to resources and lessons, online and paper-based,“ Schreuder said.

“We acknowledge the teachers who worked hours on end to prepare online lessons and additional lesson sheets that could be collected by learners without access to technology.

“We acknowledge the principals and teachers who returned to schools with a clear purpose – to ensure quality continuous teaching – even in times of uncertainty and fear. We acknowledge their resilience, fortitude and dedication.”

Schreuder added that the results also reveal just how important the role of teachers is in encouraging, motivating and inspiring our children.

“I am pleased that the average performance of schools in 4 of our districts is over 80%, and 5 of the 8 districts improved on their bachelor performance.

“Congratulations to the Metro North District for achieving the 8th highest pass rate across the country, 85.1%, and for coming first in the Western Cape.”

Schreuder added: “Today we celebrate as a province with all our learners receiving their results and achieving their NSC.

“For those that are disappointed, please don’t give up. It was a really tough year and with hard work and commitment you can certainly improve.”

Matrics who require support and counselling are encouraged to reach out to their school, who will put them in touch with the relevant services.

Alternatively, they can phone the Safe Schools hotline in 0800 45 46 47.

“If you are celebrating your results this week, I appeal to you to do so safely and responsibly by avoiding the three Cs of crowds, confined spaces with poor ventilation and close contact.

“Please also remember to wear your mask,” the premier said.

Cape Argus

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