WATCH: Top matric learner Madelein Dippenaar gets heroine's welcome at Paarl Gimnasium Hoerskool
Paarl - There was much fanfare at Paarl Gimnasium Hoerskool as matriculants and teaching staff welcomed the country’s top performing matric pupil for the matric Class of 2019, Madelein Dippenaar.
Dippenaar achieved an astonishing 96.9% aggregate and secured the prize as South Africa’s top matric pupil.
Dippenaar, together with Gary Allen from Rondebosch Boys High School and Anuoluwa Makinde from Milnerton High School scooped the top three positions in the country.
Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer said she was proud of the province's performance after they attained an 82.3% pass rate, an improvement from 2018's 81.5% provincial pass rate.
“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 Mathematics," said Schafer.
Timothy Murphy from Rondebosch Boys High School took top honours for Mathematics in the country followed by Ivan Badenhorst from Outeniqua High School .
Schafer added that the number and percentage of Bachelor passes has increased – 21 981 candidates achieved a Bachelor pass, equaling 43.6% of candidates in the province, compared to 42.3% last year.
The Western Cape achieved the highest percentage of distinctions in the country.
Meanwhile, Dippenaar, who is originally from the Northern Cape, said she was shocked and delighted with her achievements.
“I expected to do well but this is just so overwhelming,” she said.
The articulate young woman praised her parents and teachers for her achievements.
Asked about the .9 percentage point she said: “I blame it on the Math”.
Her advice to learners entering matric in 2020 is to study hard and take up hobbies to maintain a balance.
Dippenaar plans to study towards a BSc Degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Stellenbosch.