SA: Matric top achievers: consistency is the key

By – SAnews.gov.za

Consistency is key. This is the advice from one Gauteng’s top achieving students, Taskeen Joosub from Central Islamic School, who bagged eight distinctions in the 2017 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.

“I think my formula was working consistently throughout the year. That would be my advice to the matriculants of 2018 – to just give it your all, it’s the only chance you get and work consistently,” said the 18-year-old top achiever.

She plans to study Veterinary Science at the University of Pretoria this year.

Joosub’s advice was backed by her fellow pupil, Junior Shonisani from Ribane Laka High School in Mamelodi, Pretoria. He said he started preparing for his matric exams in December 2016.

“Accounting is perceived to be very difficult so I wanted to show black people that it can be done and it is easy,” said Shonisani, who plans to study a Bachelor of Accounting Science at the University of Pretoria in 2018.

All the top achievers will receive bursaries to further their higher education. This was announced by the Gauteng Education Department at its matric results and top achiever awards ceremony at Nokuthula LSEN School in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg on Friday.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga announced that the national pass rate for the 2017 Senior Certificate is 75.1% on Thursday evening. The 2017 matric class recorded the third highest enrolment of Grade 12 learners in the history of the basic education system in South Africa.

The Class of 2017 is the 10th cohort to write the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) aligned NSC exam.

Gauteng achieved an 85.1% pass rate.

The province contributed the second highest number of candidates qualifying for Bachelor studies after KwaZulu-Natal in 2017 at 35 012 or 36%. This is slightly down from the 36.2% of learners achieved in 2016.

Nationally, the province contributed 23% of all Bachelors achieved.

Over 35.4% of learners, or 34 455 learner who wrote, passed with a diploma pass.

Speaking at the ceremony on Friday, Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said this was encouraging.

School Performance

The MEC commended township schools for the significant improvement in their pass rate.

“We have increased the number of schools, including township schools, that have achieved 90% and above pass rate. I want to congratulate the principals of the 25 township schools that achieved above 95%.

“I want to congratulate Letsibogo Secondary School, from Johannesburg West that achieved a 100% pass rate and produced 102 Bachelor passes out of 163 learners that wrote the exam.

“I also want to congratulate Madibane Comprehensive School and Diepsloot Secondary No. 2 School, both from Johannesburg North, for achieving a 100% pass rate with Madibane achieving 69% Bachelor passes and Diepsloot 62% Bachelor passes,” said MEC Lesufi.

He said the province has made significant strides in closing the gap between schools serving poor communities, specifically township schools, and those with a strong middle-class component, as shown by the narrowing gap in the performance by fee paying and no fee schools.

In 2009, no fee schools achieved an average pass rate of 60.1%, with fee paying schools achieving 84.2%, making for a gap of 24.1 percentage points. In 2017, the gap has been widened slightly to 12.3% compared to 11.33% in 2016.

“We are glad to see that the improved performance of township no fee schools contributed to the 2017 improvements in results. It is important to remember that most no fee schools are township schools,” said the MEC.