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Pretoria’s matrics shine brightly

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By Mogomotsi Magome

Pretoria - The capital city shone brightly in the 2012 matric results. Schools in the city came out tops for offering the best education in the province, while some of the city’s matrics were rewarded for their outstanding achievements.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy celebrated the province’s results in Joburg yesterday.

Gauteng was the best-performing province. The number of pupils who passed the National Senior Certificate exam in Gauteng was up by 2.8 percentage points – from 81.1 percent in 2011 to 83.9 percent.

Motshekga congratulated the pupils, teachers and parents in the province for having achieved the best results in the country for the second time in three years.

Creecy said the province had produced its best matric results since 1994.

“Today is a happy day, but from tomorrow we start again with how to sustain (the pass rate).”

The top achiever in Gauteng, with eight distinctions and the highest marks overall, was Megan de Vries, from Fourways High School.

Pint-sized Cindy Ndlhovu, 19, from Soshanguve Secondary School, was placed number two in the province among the so-called priority (township) schools.

The Edward Phatudi Secondary School in Atteridgeville, which had a pass rate of 36.6 percent in 2011, was the most improved school in the province with a pass rate of 90.5 percent last year.

The Kgomotso Secondary School in Soshanguve was named the best technical school in the province.

In what was one of the best achievements by city schools, all top five public schools in the province were from Tshwane.

They are Hoërskool Waterkloof, Hoërskool Menlopark, Pretoria High School for Girls, Hoërskool Garsfontein and Hoërskool Eldoraigne.

But it did not end there with the city’s impressive performance. Its pupils were also among those acknowledged as being the best in Gauteng.

Ndlhovu, who bagged seven distinctions, was honoured as one of the best pupils in accounting and business studies.

Izak Charles Claassen, from Prinshof School (for the blind and partially sighted), was honoured by the department as the best pupil with special educational needs.

Anja Venter from Hoërskool Centurion and Olivia Loots from Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool were the best pupils in English as a second language. Amelia Badenhorst from Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool was recognised as one of the two best history pupils in the province.

Addressing the pupils, parents and education officials at the Linder Auditorium in Parktown, Joburg, on Thursday, Creecy said the province’s pupils had done her proud, despite some of them studying in tough circumstances.

“Working with their teachers, principals and parents and guided and supported by the department, they have not only produced the best matric results in the country, they have produced the best matric results our province has seen since the birth of our democracy and the introduction of universal access to education,” said Creecy.

“Most important, (they were) the best results ever, not just in terms of numbers, but in the quality of the results by schools, by districts, and across the province.”

Motshekga, who announced the national matric results on Wednesday evening and was invited as a guest to attend the announcement of Gauteng’s matric results yesterday, lauded the province for its sterling performance.

The minister hit out at criticism that the 30-40 percent pass mark was not good enough, saying only 285 pupils who sat for the 2012 exams passed with 30 percent.

“How can we not celebrate the achievement of the majority of learners and concentrate on the 285 who passed with 30 percent out of so many who wrote exams last year?” Motshekga said.

“You (pupils, teachers and principals) have done well.

“You deserve to be celebrated for your achievements.”

Motshekga said she was pleased township schools had done well as the government was channelling resources to them. The funding model was also favouring them.

* Crawford College Pretoria was named the top non-subsidised (independent) school.

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