Durban — The eThekwini districts Pinetown and Umlazi took the number 8th spot in the province with top achievers for the class of 2023.
Pinetown achieved 85.6% and Umlazi 86.01%.
James Dent from Westville Boys’ High, who had seven distinctions and came third in South Africa for Mathematics, said he was honoured to represent his family and school.
He said time management was initially a challenge for him: “There was some pressure as I was head boy and played multiple sports at school. Trying to fit everything in my schedule was my biggest challenge.”
He said that although sport took him away from his books, it had helped with stress:
“Sport helped me to calm down. I also had a good support system from my family,” he said.
He said he would study medicine at the University of Pretoria.
Hanaa Khan Ullah from Al-Falaah College, Sydenham, said that her matric year had presented a multitude of challenges, from academic pressure, rigorous exam preparations, and load-shedding.
The latter, she said was a major challenge because it disrupted her study schedules and resulted in the loss of valuable study time.
“Load-shedding at times limited access to electronic resources which is why it is crucial to prepare for exams in advance and to work consistently from the start,” she said.
“There was pressure from my school, family, friends and, most importantly, myself to do everyone proud. To keep focused and diligent was difficult at first, but once I realised that this is what I had worked for, it gave me strength to keep on moving.”
She said that she had received several preliminary offers from a few universities, but her passion lay with medicine.
“I hope to be successful in whichever path I take and to help people.
“My advice for others is to work consistently hard from the beginning of the year and manage your time effectively. Work through as many past exam papers as you can, also make use of the internet if you are finding something difficult – there are many YouTube videos to assist you. Don’t forget regular breaks – overworking can lead to you performing poorly,” she said.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, congratulated the top achievers.
“Our economy requires creative thinkers and problem solvers to grow and produce jobs of that will be sustainable. It is pleasing to note a steady improvement in the distinction passes in Agriculture Science, Mathematics and Physical Science.
“We are repositioning KwaZulu-Natal as a smart province, therefore Physical Science and Mathematics will be central,” said Dube-Ncube.