JUMPING FOR JOY: St Johns College matriculants Jacques van Rhyn, Muhammed Bulbulia, Bradley Stocks and head boy James Surgey.
JUMPING FOR JOY: St Johns College matriculants Jacques van Rhyn, Muhammed Bulbulia, Bradley Stocks and head boy James Surgey.
TOP ACHIEVER: Anina Faul from Kingsmead College got 11 distinctions.
TOP ACHIEVER: Anina Faul from Kingsmead College got 11 distinctions.

Anina Faul is a bit of a doomsday prop-het. “I’m one of those people who think I will fail, but then I end up doing really well,” said the anxious teenager yesterday.

But there was no need for Faul’s nerves. She notched up 11 distinctions in 12 of her subjects in the 2012 Independent Examinations Board (IEB) exam, ach-ieving in the top 1 percent for seven of her subjects in the results released today. Faul secured a spot on the coveted list of IEB candidates praised for their outstanding achievement.

The Kingsmead College pupil was one of 8 796 private school students who passed the IEB exams, netting the board a pass rate of 98.20 percent, a slight improvement on last year’s pass rate of 98.15 percent. All those who passed gained entry into tertiary study.

Anne Oberholzer, the chief executive of the IEB, said she was pleased with the results – and that 83.6 percent of pupils achieved entry to degree study – a “significant” improvement from last year’s 81.67 percent.

“Learners are realising that it’s not enough to just pass – that they have to pass well. I think the hype nationally around the quality of the pass rates – that a 30 percent pass is not enough – has seen both learners and teachers realise they need to extend themselves to their very best.

“They have to strive towards what universities are looking for. Even if you go on to a job after school, you have to be confident to read and write properly, you can add and subtract, and your life skills are important. You have to have substance behind those marks.”

There were 1 586 candidates who wrote the Advanced Programme (AP) courses offered by the IEB in maths, benchmarked as equivalent in demand to UK A-levels, securing a pass rate of 84 percent while 502 candidates wrote AP English, scoring a pass rate of 97 percent.

To achieve, schools needed committed parents, children “who are prepared to put in the hours” and a qualified and committed teaching force. “We’re a tiny group of schools, but there are a number of state schools doing as well as us. It’s just that it’s not pervasive enough. We need more schools to have those three things coming together.”

Next week will see the release of the state school matric results.

Graeme Bloch, an education specialist, said order and discipline helped make private schools function well. “It’s better ordered, more disciplined, especially in teaching and obviously better resourced (both facilities and the preparation of the kids). Well done to those who did well. Success only comes with hard work.

“Much is to learn and there are many problems (at private schools), from bullying to sexism, to bad behaviour and elitism sometimes. Still, 92.5 percent of kids are in public schools and it is here we must focus. No excuses, but realism, and no slogans or quick fixes. There is a lot to fix, and lots to learn, but this is where the real challenge is. Some public schools do okay. Most don’t. Parental involvement and accountable leadership by teachers, departments and politicians is what is needed.”

There has been a marked improvement in exam results nationally, with better pupil performance achieved, and a higher percentage of subjects whose raw marks were accepted after moderation, according to the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, Umalusi.

Yesterday the council announced its approval of the results for all 2012 national exams, and said they had been written under fair and valid conditions and results could be released to pupils and the public at dates chosen by the administrators.

The exams are administered by the IEB, the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Umalusi chief executive Dr Mafu Rakometsi said: “There was a lot of hard work that went into the results and preparing them to be released, and the milestone achievement is a product of combined efforts by learners and parents.”

Speaking during a media briefing to show their confidence in all the qualifications, chairman Professor Sizwe Mabizela said: “Umalusi is satisfied that nothing has compromised the integrity or credibility of the examination process.

“We are satisfied that the examinations were fair, valid and credible,” Mabizela said.

He said problems in KwaZulu-Natal had been investigated and appropriate action would be taken.

A total of 527 335 full-time pupils and 120 352 part-time candidates had enrolled for the national senior certificate examination, with 61 subjects presented for standardisation with Umalusi.

So what are Faul’s plans? She is heading to the University of Johannesburg next year to study audiovisual communication to become a film-maker.

It’s a career choice her father, who wanted her to become a chartered accountant, “is coming around to”.

“If I’m going to do something with my life that I’m passionate about, then it has to be film-making. I really want to do something creative and I love movies, and go to watch them all the time.”

She dreams of walking in the footsteps of Tsotsi director Gavin Hood. “My big sister has already told me she wants to be my date when I win an Oscar.”

The IEB results were released last night while matriculants at non-IEB schools will have theirs on January 3.

-Saturday Star