#MatricResults2016: A leap of faith into the future
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Johannesburg – In a few days Imaan Hassim will embark on a new journey at the Youngstown State University in Ohio in the US.
Hassim, one of St Mary’s School’s top achievers in this year’s IEB matric exams, will leave her Joburg home, where she has lived all her life, to pursue a degree in health sciences about 13 000km away.
The 18-year-old achieved an impressive six distinctions out of the seven subjects she wrote, to add to the 351 distinctions that St Mary’s achieved this year.
Aside from the impressive tally of achievements, St Mary’s also scored a 100 percent pass rate and a 100 percent bachelor degree pass – keeping up their flawless record from last year.
Read: Six distinctions for grieving pupil
Hassim was one of thousands of matriculants across the country who anxiously waited for their IEB results, which was released at midnight on Thursday.
Nationally, the results were impressive, as the class of 2016 achieved a pass rate of 98.67 percent, slightly higher than last year’s pass rate of 98.30 percent.
This year, 11022 full-time and 703 part-time candidates from 237 examination venues across South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland wrote the IEB National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations in October and November.
Of the 11022 full-time pupils who sat the exams, 10871 (98.67 percent) passed and 151 (1.33 percent) failed.
The results enable 87.61 percent of those who passed to go on to study for a degree, up from the 85.26 percent last year.
A total of 9.83 percent qualified for entry to diploma study, compared with 11.66 percent last year, leaving 1.23 percent to study at a higher certificate level, compared with the 1.27 percent last year.
Hassim, who has also been offered a tennis scholarship at the prestigious US university, was one of a handful of pupils who arrived at St Mary’s yesterday to get her results.
Check out our special Matric Results page
“It certainly was a lot of hard work,” Hassim said of the matric exams.
“The first maths paper and the English papers were very tough, but overall it went well.”
Hassim achieved distinctions in mathematics, English, Afrikaans, physical science, life science and history.
This year she has had to carefully balance her schooling with her sport as she represents South Africa in tennis too.
“It was all about balance, but St Mary’s has always given me the opportunity to excel in both my academics and sport," she said.
“When I missed school, I was given the chance to catch up with my work. My teachers were helpful and I am grateful.
“The school encourages us to pursue other things, and not only focus on academics, but also sports, cultural activities, or community service.
“The school want us to have a balance and I think that’s why we always excel in our results – because we are able to balance our time.”
Hassim said she was excited about her new journey in the US.
“I’m thinking of studying a health sciences degree. I will also play college tennis and see how that goes.”
But ideally Hassim would love to play professional tennis.
“I love playing tennis. It’s my life, so it really would be a dream come true to play on a professional level, but I’m going to take it step by step.”
The headgirl of St Mary’s, Shayna van Vuren, was also one of the pupils at the private school who excelled in the matric exams.
Van Vuren achieved four distinctions in the eight subjects she wrote.
“My results were very good. I’m happy with them. I worked hard and my teachers helped and supported me, and I really think it’s the best that I could have achieved,” said Van Vuren. She achieved distinctions in English, life orientation, history and music.
Van Vuren said she would pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Witwatersrand next year.
“I am very interested in stuff like politics and international relations, so I am excited for the journey ahead.”
Van Vuren added that she wasn’t put off going to Wits by the disruptions that marred the academic year at the university.
“I think there will be protests and there always will be, and I think it’s good that the students have voiced their unhappiness.
“I’m excited I don’t want to run away from it, I will deal with it when it happens.”
Other private schools, such as King David School in Victory Park, also maintained a 100 percent pass rate in this year’s examinations.
One of the school's pupils, Dalia Solomon, achieved eight distinctions, and has been recognised as one of the IEB’s top candidates in the country.
Solomon was on holiday in Cape Town when she received the thrilling news of her results.
“The exams went better than I thought,” said a delighted Solomon.
“Some exams were quite challenging, but overall they went quite well. The most difficult subject for me was English. I struggled with that quite a bit.”
Solomon said she was looking forward to pursuing a degree in business science and actuarial science at the University of Cape Town.
For now, however, she is soaking up the sun in Cape Town and enjoying the remainder of her holidays ahead of a hectic year.