There were scenes of relief and joy at far-south schools last Friday as matriculants got their exam results.
Despite another difficult year for matrics countrywide due to the pandemic, the Western Cape’s class of 2021 achieved a pass rate of 81.2% in the National Senior Certificate results, an increase of 1.3% from 2020.
The province also achieved its highest ever percentage of Bachelor passes (allowing university entrance), at 45.3%, the highest in the country.
In the far south, all of the schools saw a drop in results with Fish Hoek High School dropping 1.7% from 99.5% in 2020 to 97.8% in 2021, Simon’s Town School by 0.5% from 90.4% in 2020 to 89.9% in 2021, Muizenberg by 3.1% from 94.2% in 2020 to 91.1% in 2021, Masiphumelele High School by 17% from 81.2% in 2020 to 64.2% in 2021 and Ocean View High School by 11.5% from 62.4% in 2020 to 50.9% in 2021.
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer congratulated the matriculants and said the result was remarkable considering that it was achieved after two years of a global pandemic.
The atmosphere outside Fish Hoek High School was one of excitement as pupils shrieked with happiness and others danced with their certificates in hand.
Acting principal Allison Grobbelaar said she was very pleased with the results considering the challenges faced by the pupils during the past two years.
While the pandemic presented many challenges it was not all bad, she said.
“Lockdown made pupils realise they had to take ownership of their learning and this resulted in the development of good work habits.”
The class of 2021 produced 20 A aggregates, 32 B aggregates, and 68 C aggregates and attained an 89% Bachelor’s pass.
“We are very proud of the class of 2021. Our results are a combined committed effort by pupils, teachers, and parents. We will continue to provide excellent education right on the doorstep of our community,” she said.”
Excitement was also in the air at Simon’s Town School where pupils waved their certificates in the air and hugged each other.
Acting principal Lee Hoffmann said the school had a minimal drop in results and it was commendable considering the circumstances.
He said the Grade 11s of 2020, which were the Grade 12s in 2021, were most affected by lockdown and the disruptions and uncertainty that it created.
“We did very well under the circumstances,” he said.
The school, he said, would focus on providing more support to all the departments in 2022, especially maths and science, and would continue to provide extra support to pupils who needed it.
“We will work on improving the quality of our pass,” he said.
At Masiphumele High School, pupils waited patiently outside the school for their results.
Principal Nelson Mafrika said the school’s pass rate was still an achievement as it was above 50%.
He said he attributed the drop in pass rate to his absence from school for four months last year due to a stroke.
“I was expecting the worst as the June results reflected a 49% pass rate. I returned to school earlier than I should have in an attempt to save the sinking ship,” he said.
Many of the Grade 12s had only written a full exam paper in September last year, he said, and then had had to go straight into writing their final exams.
“It was difficult for them,” he said.
At Ocean View High School, Elton Daames was keen to pose for a photo with his son, Dwayne.
He said he was “very proud” of his son who had worked hard throughout the year. Dwayne is considering a career in health and safety.
Principal Keith Klein said he was disappointed with the results and they did not reflect the hard work and effort put in by the teachers.
He said the school had never managed to get its distance-learning system off the ground and that had had a ripple effect from 2020.
The Echo made several attempts to contact Muizenberg High School acting principal Mr P Cupido, but he had not responded by time of publication.