After the release of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) results last week, the University of Cape Town (UCT) Online High School in the Western Cape also announced its top student.
The online school was established on June 21, 2021, becoming the first university on the African continent to extend its expertise and impact initially only to the secondary schooling market.
UCT Online High School is a South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI) institution.
SACAI is a non-profit private assessment body that assesses the qualifications of the NSC and General Education and Training Certificate: Adult Basic Education and Training (GETC: ABET) for a diverse group of candidates.
Tanya du Toit, from Kimberley in the Northern Cape, the school’s top learner and the top SAICA learner nationwide, received six distinctions.
She received a grade average of 89.5%.
Her father, a former teacher, Francois du Toit, was extremely proud of his daughter’s achievements and said she only changed to online schooling mid-year in Grade 10 and changed to UCT Online High School in Grade 11. She also changed from being taught in Afrikaans to English.
“UCT Online High School was just so professional from the beginning, holding everything I could hope for. Over the past two years, I had peace of mind knowing she was safe in their capable hands.
“It was a privilege to have been with UCT Online High School, and I will recommend them any day to any student considering online schooling. UCT Online High School took online schooling to a new and unique level, I believe will only be found with them,” he said.
Tanya said she was extremely happy with her results, which “surpassed her expectations”.
“I never envisioned becoming the top achiever for SACAI. For the most part, I am filled with an overwhelming amount of gratitude. I am so thankful for the constant encouragement from my parents throughout the year and from my chief invigilator during the exam season.
“I appreciate UCT Online High School for being so supportive and for maintaining a level of interaction between the teachers and us students. Whenever I got a positive comment from a teacher or grader, it put a huge smile on my face and motivated me to keep pushing. Thank you all for being the pillars of my achievement,” she said.
Another top student from UCT Online High School positioned 8th in the top 12 matriculants at SACAI-accredited schools, Leo Mischker from Edgemead in Cape Town, received five distinctions with an average of 84%.
Mischker said he doubts he would have attained his exceptional results if he had not switched to online schooling in 2022.
“Everything about the online education model: such as the required self-responsibility and accountability for my own work gave me the perfect environment to thrive. It felt natural for me to manage my time and responsibilities, and I was able to easily learn and engage with each subject.
“This culminated in me gaining a greater understanding of physical science and mathematics, with my problem-solving abilities and marks improving substantially. It also rekindled my love for science. I’ve always known I work well on my own, and the online experience only proved this to me. I will always cherish how unique my Grade 11 and 12 years were,” he said.
Mischker said he was particularly proud of his mathematics and physical sciences results. While part of him said he could have done better, Mischker said he felt at ease once he received his results.
He hopes to study Computer Science with Geographical Information Technology at Stellenbosch University.
Proud father Claus Mischker said the school’s dedication to and feedback from the teachers has been great, as has the availability of learning resources.
“As an observer, I particularly like the intuitive structure of UCT Online High School’s platform, in that it emphasises the learner to be conscientious about scheduling, tasks, progress, and feedback more so than in a physical school, in my view.
“And I like that the platform mirrors the work environment very well, which is good preparation in general. Because it is so efficient, it also allowed Leo and me to travel overseas during a semester; without any additional effort, he was able to stay on top of his coursework. As a paying parent, this has been great value for money,” he said.