Pictured from left are Keshav Maharaj from Westville Boys achieved 8 distinctions, Ethan Naidoo received from Star College achieved 9 distinctions, Sailin Vadivelu from Star College achieved 9 distinctions, Lydia Weber from Westville Girls achieved 9 distinctions, Jodi Nobin from Eden College achieved 8 distinctions, Santhani Rungan from Eden College achieved 8 distinctions. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / African News Agency (ANA)
Pictured from left are Keshav Maharaj from Westville Boys achieved 8 distinctions, Ethan Naidoo received from Star College achieved 9 distinctions, Sailin Vadivelu from Star College achieved 9 distinctions, Lydia Weber from Westville Girls achieved 9 distinctions, Jodi Nobin from Eden College achieved 8 distinctions, Santhani Rungan from Eden College achieved 8 distinctions. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / African News Agency (ANA)

Abnormal year draws top matric results

By Silindile Nyathikazi, Zainul Dawood Time of article published Feb 23, 2021

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Durban - As the matriculants of the 2020 National Senior Certificate (NSC) prepared to receive their much-anticipated results today, KwaZulu-Natal top achievers shared their unique experiences and plans ahead of what was one of the most abnormal schooling years.

Lydia Weber from Westville Girls High School said although she did not mind time alone and generally worked better alone, she did miss discussions with her schoolmates.

“Having a timetable and sticking to my schedule was the key to my success even though it was very difficult at first to get used to online learning. We had to train ourselves very quickly to learn online but what worked for me was pretending to be at school. We were very lucky to have incredible teachers as well.”

Lydia obtained 9 distinctions and plans to study music at the University of Pretoria next month.

Despite the year being disjunctured with plenty of connectivity issues, Ethan Naidoo from Star College said that did not stop him from working hard so that he could pursue his passion for medicine at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits). He obtained 9 distinctions.

“Matric was definitely more challenging given the sudden change in circumstances. However through God, my family, teachers and friends I had a firm support structure that got me through the toughest of times by their love and motivation which fuelled me. I am grateful that I never once felt alone through this ordeal,” said Ethan.

Jodi Nobin from Eden College obtained 8 distinctions and would be studying actuarial science at Wits. He said it was stressful working from home due to the uncertainty that followed throughout the year on whether they would write the exams.

“Our online classes resumed as per the timetable, so I advise the matric class of 2021 to stay calm, be motivated and ask for help if they need it. Pupils should keep communicating with their teachers who are there to help. What made it easy for me was I chose subjects that I enjoy studying and I was determined to achieve the goals I had set for myself,” Jodi said.

Sailin Vadivelu from Star College obtained 9 distinctions and said the worst part about 2020 was not being able to meet his friends.

“Going to school and being with friends was such an integral part of daily life so it was weird and not easy coping through it all. We had to learn and adapt very fast but we eventually got used to it. I am now looking forward to going to study medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and starting my new life at university,” said Sailin.

Keshav Maharaj from Westville Boys High School obtained 8 distinctions and said he was just relieved he was able to finish the exams.

“Watching our teachers fumbling around the technology like Zoom was very entertaining but I am glad they also persevered. We were also stressed out at first but we got into the groove of it. It really taught us how to work by ourselves but that’s not to say we did not miss school,” said Keshav.

Santhani Rungan from Eden College whose parents are both in the medical fraternity said she was excited to also be pursuing her passion for medicine.

She obtained 8 distinctions.

“Even though the dynamics of working from home were challenging, I am happy to have excelled. My advice to this year’s matrics is to work hard from day one and get as many past papers as possible to learn the style of questioning.”

The Daily News

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