News / 6 January 2017, 06:30am / Lisa Isaacs and ANA
Cape Town - Pupils from the Western Cape made a clean sweep by claiming the top three positions of the matric class of 2016.
Local pupils also took the top three spots in mathematics. Conrad Strydom from Hermanus High School is the top matric pupil of the class of 2016. Christine Vivier from De Kuilen High School came in second and Hannah Clayton from Rustenburg Girls’ High School in third.
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer on Thursday also announced the class of 2016 achieved a record-breaking pass rate of 77.2 percent in mathematics. This is an increase of 2.3 percent from 2015 when the pass rate was 74.9 percent.
Physical science candidates achieved a 73.8 percent pass rate up 0.5 percent from 2015 when the pass rate was 73.3 percent. Western Cape pupils did the province proud, achieving an overall 85.9 percent pass rate up from 84.7 percent in 2015 and the second-highest pass rate in the country.
The top performing province for 2016 was the Free State, which achieved 88.2 percent pass. Conrad from Onrus River on the Overberg coast is also the overall best performer in mathematics.
The matric star’s early education was, however, delayed due to problems with his eyes. He only started reading at the age of eight.
“I am really proud and excited. I have worked hard throughout my school career. I worked when in class, revised the work at home and even studied throughout holidays.”
He has previously received a Dux Scholar award, came in fifth at the National Science Olympiad and showed his leadership qualities while serving on the pupils representative council. He plans to study physics at Stellenbosch University.
Christine of Kuils River said on Thursday her achievement had still not sunk in. “It is very overwhelming. It is still setting in. But I’m very glad that all the hard work has paid off at the end. I think in about a week’s time it will have sunk in."
When her name was called, she did not realise that she was the second best pupil in the country. It was only once this was explained to her that she realised how well she had done.
“The last few days have been very exciting and overwhelming. Everyone at the school has been very supportive and have been congratulating me,” she said.
“I was stunned. And my parents are over the moon.” She will study medicine at Stellenbosch University this year.
For the matric class of 2017 she said: “Work from day one and don’t fall behind. Study for your class tests and they will all add up at the end. It is also never too late if you apply your mind.”
Her mother Franzelle Vivier said she was extremely proud of her daughter, who put in the work and was now reaping the rewards.
“It was unbelievable when they called her name, especially coming from a school that is not one you always hear about.”
Hannah Clayton said she received a call from the education department inviting her and her parents to Midrand on New Year's Eve.
“We flew up very early on Tuesday morning. We had breakfast with the minister and it was great meeting people from all over the country who have also worked really hard.
"Some of their stories were really inspiring. It was such a shock when I was called up. I was really pleased because I didn’t think I had done that well.”
Hannah will have to decide in the next few days whether to study a bachelor of science at UCT or Stellenbosch.