Matric class of 2020 pull through despite pandemic

Cape Town High School principal Emilton Cloete with the school’s top achiever, Carla Pullen

Despite a challenging year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown, the matric class of 2020 at the three city centre’s high schools managed to exceed the national pass rate of 76.2%.

For the first time since 2010, the Western Cape has missed out on achieving an 80% pass rate for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric results.

The national matric results were released by Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, on Monday February 22. The national NSC pass rate stands at 76.2% – a decline of 5.1% from the record pass of 81.3% achieved by the class of 2019.

All the provinces experienced a decline in the pass rate from last year’s matric results.

Following Gauteng and Free State, the Western Cape came in third position with a pass rate of 79.9%, a decline of 2.4% from 2019.

Garden’s Commercial High School achieved a 98% pass rate, up from 85% in 2019 and 87.1% in 2018.

Ghumairaa Misbach, one of Garden’s Commercial High School’s top pupils.

While the principal of Garden’s Commercial High School, Dylan Tommy did not respond to questions, a post on social media read: “Congratulations to our 2020 Matric learners who achieved a 98% pass rate during an extremely difficult year. Gardens was also the top school in our circuit and our circuit was top in the district. Well done to all the learners and thank you to all our staff members for this wonderful achievement.”

Cape Town High School matrics achieved a pass rate of 97.5%, up from 2019’s 95.6% and 2018’s 94.3%.

Deputy principal at Cape Town High School, Liesl van Egeren said they managed this pass rate due to staff and management working as a team.

“The teachers worked hard on online classes and used various social media platforms to stay in constant contact with the learners.

“Our matrics were at school everyday and on task. We allowed them little privileges like wearing civvies every second day to keep them motivated. We constantly motivated them via our online groups as well. We were privileged to have two UCT intern psychology students that assisted the learners and were also just a ear to listen and shoulder to cry on.”

She said they were extremely proud of their pupils who showed resilience.

“They were unable to have a matric ball and worked through this without giving up. As a reward we gave them a very simple but formal Matric valedictory breakfast where we celebrated their achievements.”

Harold Cressy High School scored a 79.6% pass rate, down from 2019’s 83.6% pass rate, as well as 2018’s 90.7%.

The school did not respond to CapeTowner at the time this article was published.