Grade 12 learners celebrate as they collected their matric results at Paarl Gymnasium. The MEC for Education in the Western Cape Debbie Schäfer visited Paarl Gimnasium on Wednesday. The Western Cape Province has maintained an above 80% pass rate, achieving an increased percentage pass rate from 81.5% in 2018 to 82.3% in 2019. The Western Cape achieved a trifecta in terms of the top three candidates in the country overall, and the top two in Mathematics. The top candidates are: Madelein Dippenaar from Paarl Gimnasium High School (number 1 in the country), Gary Allen from Rondebosch Boys High School (2nd in the country), Anuoluwa Makinde from Milnerton High School - (3rd in the country)  Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Grade 12 learners celebrate as they collected their matric results at Paarl Gymnasium. The MEC for Education in the Western Cape Debbie Schäfer visited Paarl Gimnasium on Wednesday. The Western Cape Province has maintained an above 80% pass rate, achieving an increased percentage pass rate from 81.5% in 2018 to 82.3% in 2019. The Western Cape achieved a trifecta in terms of the top three candidates in the country overall, and the top two in Mathematics. The top candidates are: Madelein Dippenaar from Paarl Gimnasium High School (number 1 in the country), Gary Allen from Rondebosch Boys High School (2nd in the country), Anuoluwa Makinde from Milnerton High School - (3rd in the country)  Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Paarl Gim’s recipe for success, top student in SA and 34 A aggregates

By Norman Cloete Time of article published Jan 11, 2020

Share this article:

Cape Town - Paarl Gimnasium achieved a 100% pass rate for the past three years and while the school could not match this feat in 2019, it did deliver the cream of the matric crop, including 34 A aggregates.

Leading the class of 2019 was Madelein Dippenaar, who secured the number one spot in the country. The 18-year-old achieved 96.7% in the NSC exams, and received a hero’s welcome.

“This is quite overwhelming but also very exciting. I am so grateful for all the support,” said Madelein when fellow learners mobbed her and offered her a bunch of flowers, as others chanted “we love you Skoeba”, her nickname at boarding school.

The Northern Cape-born matriculant started her high school career at Paarl Gimnasium in Grade 8, and said while she expected to do well her final results were beyond what she imagined.

She plans to study for a BSc in Molecular Biology at Stellenbosch University.


Madelein Dippenaar (centre) from Paarl Gimnasium High School is placed number one in the country.  Next to her is Paarl Gymnasium principal Eddie Bateman and Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)


Principal Eddie Bateman, who has been at the helm of Paarl Gimnasium for the past seven years, said Madelein and the other pupils’ results were a “dream come true”. He had much praise for the efforts put in by the pupils and staff at the school.

“Jy moet in die kind se kop klim en die meubels rondskyf (you must get into the child’s mind and move the furniture around),” said Bateman when asked about the school’s winning recipe.

He also told Weekend Argus that for them it was also not just about the passes, but the quality of the passes.

“We have four rules at the school: do unto others as you want done unto you. Speak life Don’t ever say you cannot make it. Everything we do, we do with diligence and laugh everyday.”

Commercial manager at the school, Marius Husselman, said the results proved the school was not just a “rugby” school, which produced the likes of Kobus Wiese (fomer Springbok), Pieter Engelbrecht (Shoprite/Checkers chief executive), Ruswahl Samaai (SA long jumper) and Handré Pollard (currrent Springbok).

Madelein, together with Gary Allen (92.8%) of Rondebosch Boys’ High School, and Anuoluwa Makinde (92.1%) of Milnerton High School scooped the top three positions in the country.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said despite the Western Cape only being number four in the country in the 2019 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, the province has retained the highest number of pupils who entered Grade 10 and sat for the Grade 12 final exams. The province boasts the best retention rate of 64.3%.

Schäfer was speaking at Paarl Gimnasium Hoërskool this week.

Schäfer said the province maintained an above 80% pass rate, achieving an increased percentage pass rate from 81.5% in 2018 to 82.3% in 2019.

“I am also delighted that the Western Cape achieved a trifecta in terms of the top three candidates in the country overall, and the top two in maths.

Timothy Murphy of Rondebosch Boys’ High took top honours for maths in the country, followed by Ivan Badenhorst of Outeniqua High.

Schäfer added that the number and percentage of Bachelor passes increased - 21981 candidates achieved a Bachelor pass, equalling 43.6% of candidates in this province, compared to 42.3% last year.

Weekend Argus

Share this article: