Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

Private schools optimistic about matric results

By Siboniso Mngadi, Lethu Nxumalo Time of article published Feb 14, 2021

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Durban - Prestigious schools who wrote the Independent Examination Board (IEB) exams are optimistic about their matric results despite challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

Over 12 000 Grade 12 pupils who sat for the Independent Examination Board (IEB) exams will receive their results on Friday, almost two months later than the normal release date.

Anne Oberholzer, CEO of the IEB would not speculate on the results, saying Umalusi, a council for quality assurance, has not formally approved it.

However, she said it was interesting to note that the hard lockdown had differing impacts across schools.

“Some schools were able to make a smooth transition to online teaching and learning. Within some of these schools, some individual learners could not participate at all either because the school did not have adequate resources, or the majority of their learners lacked the resources.

“However the resourcefulness of many teachers led to other initiatives to assist learners,” she said.

Oberholzer said further details would be disclosed once the results are approved.

But KwaZulu-Natal schools were confident that their matriculants managed to adapt to the “new normal” of online classes and they were expecting to maintain their good records.

Dean Tyson, Head of Academics, at St John’s Diocesan School for Girls in Pietermaritzburg, said 62 girls wrote the exam and all were expected to achieve Bachelor Degree passes.

He said Covid-19 had a minimum impact as they had already started with online classes.

“Our girls had been thoroughly prepared despite Covid-19 and having to work online for a while. Based on the trial examinations, I am confident that our girls will achieve outstanding results.

“The girls found online learning more challenging in Mathematics, Science and other technical subjects but the staff were able to provide additional resources online, to assist, as well as work with girls individually through video calls when they had difficulties.

“With the additional time put in by staff and girls towards the end of the year, I am confident these results will be in line with those of previous years,” Tyson added.

Peter Storrar, Marketing Director at Hilton College said it was difficult to gauge the impact of Covid-19 as there had been multiple variables at play.

“In our view, face to face teaching is a crucial component of the educational mix, alongside periods of studying on one’s own. Despite boys having not been on campus for lengthy periods, we are very proud of the efforts of our teachers to minimise the impact of the pandemic on our academic performance,” he said.

He added: “Staff have used the technology at their disposal to excellent effect. Critically, the relationships that each teacher has with her or his students has remained healthy. We are grateful that we have been able to have our boys on campus for the last few months of the year and are hopeful that the time invested in preparing boys for their exams will have paid off.

“We are cautiously optimistic that our results will reflect further improvement, despite the difficulties presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Over 12 000 matriculants who wrote Independent Examination Board exams will get their results on Friday. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Jonathan Manley, Executive Principal at St Mary's Diocesan School for Girls in Kloof said the past year had been extremely challenging, but teachers, parents and pupils worked well together and have shown what is possible when there is committed teamwork.

“The girls worked exceptionally well during what can only be described as a gruelling year. Together with our committed staff, the girls found ways to overcome challenges and setbacks; working online, in a hybrid system and then back at school with all the regulations in place,” said Manley. “Based on how they performed during the year, we are expecting them to achieve a 100% pass rate. They are an exceptional cohort of students. We have maintained an average of three A’s per student over the last ten years and we have every confidence that this is possible,” he said.

Vernon David, Executive Head of Crawford International North Coast said the Class of 2020 was anticipating exceptional results achieved in a most disruptive year.

“Our students have displayed resilience and flexibility in a year of a global pandemic. We are proud of our matriculants, and wish them success in their future endeavours.”

Sunday Tribune

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