Matric pupils screamed, cried and ran across the halls at two city centre schools as they received their results last week.
Both Gardens Commercial High School and Cape Town High School topped the Western Cape’s 87.7 percent matric pass rate by scoring 98.9 percent and 91.1 percent, respectively.
The matric results were released to schools across the country on Thursday January 5. And although Cape Town High still received an above 90 percent pass rate, it was still a drop compared to 2015’s 94.7 percent.
But that was hardly cause for despair for the principal Emilton Cloete. “I am impressed with the achievement of our matriculants. Well done to all the learners who worked hard,” he said.
“We have, however, experienced a drop in our Bachelor passes, but we are looking forward to increasing it this year again.”
He said the school had, since the beginning of 2016, changed its status to a maths and science focused school.
“We have received incentives from the Department of Education because of this, and we are seeing an improvement in the performance of learners. However, it is not at a standard that we want it to be yet, but we are getting there.”
Asked about the 3.6 percent drop in the matric pass rate, Mr Cloete said: “It could have been a number of factors. One may have been the way the question papers were set – it may have not been clear for the learners.
“Some learners are also not as strong as others. We have to take into account that each learner has different interests.
“Another issue was that learners were not well-prepared, but that is a lesson for us, and we will look at better strategies to better prepare for the exams this year.
“Also, learners become despondent and insecure because of the uncertainty of their futures. But everything can be achieved through hard work. The learners have been working hard, and in the very near future, we too will show off 100 percent pass rate, like some of our neighbouring schools.”
Cape Town High’s top achiever was none other than Mr Cloete’s daughter, Tayla, who received a Bachelor’s pass and two distinctions.
The principal of Gardens Commercial High School, Pieter van Rensburg, was very happy with the school’s pass rate, which increased from 96.3 percent to 98.9 percent.
He said that out of 94 pupils who had written the matric exam, only one had failed.
Mr Van Rensburg said he was concerned about the “hype” surrounding the release of the matric results, which he felt was “unnecessary”.
He attributed the rise in his school’s pass rate to the hard work of pupils and teachers and the support of parents.
“We’ve had good results for many years. I am proud of the matriculants.”
The school’s bachelors pass rate also increased from 60 percent last year to 63 percent this year. “More of our students will be able to get into universities,” he said.
Ashton Barnes, who with an 81.3 percent bachelors pass is the school’s second highest achiever, said he planned to study accounting next year.