Girls from Grahamstown’s DSG among top achievers in country
Matriculants who receive their Independent Examination Board (IEB) results today managed to increase the overall matric pass rate for the third consecutive year, with three Eastern Cape pupils among the top 5% nationally.
The IEB results continued on an upward trajectory nationally, with a 2017 matric pass rate of 98.76%, up from 98.67% the year before and 98.3% in 2015.
A total of 11 464 full-time and 666 part-time candidates from 212 examination centres across Southern Africa wrote the 2017 IEB National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.
Diocesan School for Girls (DSG) in Grahamstown flew the provincial flag high, with three of its pupils earning a spot on the IEB’s 2017 outstanding and commendable list comprising the top 5% of graduates, who also achieved 80% or more in life orientation.
DSG is the only one of the Eastern Cape’s 14 IEB schools – which accommodate 565 matric pupils in total – on the list.
The three pupils are Caitlin Lee Bailey, Alice Godlonton and Annabelle Victoria Schaefer, all 18.
In 2016, there were four in the top 5%.
DSG principal Shelley Frayne said the school’s 68 matric pupils all passed and managed to attain 173 subject distinctions and 176 B symbols.
“We are thrilled to announce our superb 2017 results, which are heralded by three of our girls being listed on the IEB commendable list,” Frayne said.
“The results across the board are outstanding and the entire matric class of 2017 is to be congratulated.
“We are proud of our academic record which I know can be largely attributed to the strong work ethic among our pupil body, good parental support and well-trained, committed and dedicated academic staff.”
IEB chief executive Anne Oberholzer said the results reflected a good academic year, with the IEB pass rate continuing to improve annually.
“[The] candidates have done very well and have once again shown that with a commitment to hard work over their 12 years of schooling, and supported by a dedicated cohort of teachers and parents, they have passed with flying colours,” Oberholzer said.
She said Umalusi had monitored all aspects of the examination process and had declared the results to be fair and valid.
Asked why the IEB results trumped those of the NSC pass rate every year, Oberholzer said: “The norm is a 98% and 99% pass rate [for IEB] – the reason is the strong interest parents play in the lives of these pupils.
“This, coupled with a very hardworking group of teachers, allows these pupils to succeed.”
Bailey achieved seven distinctions and will be studying medicine at the University of Cape Town this year.
“I am overwhelmed with joy at having achieved a spot in the top 5% nationally,” she said.
“The secret to my success is definitely time management – you don’t have to study 24/7, but when you do study you need to be completely involved.”
Godlonton, who achieved eight distinctions, said: “It is very exciting and a huge relief, because there was immense pressure during the exams.
“But these types of achievements can be done by anyone who is willing to put in the work and the time.
“It is definitely not easy, but now that the results are out it is also very satisfying to see all that work pay off.
“But, for now, I will be taking a gap year to teach in the UK.”
Schaeffer said she was very happy that she would be pursuing a BSc degree at UCT this year after achieving seven distinctions in her final exam.
“These results weren’t because of hard work in matric alone,” she said.
“It is something I have been building towards since Grade 8 when I decided to push myself, which led to me building a certain work ethic towards academics.”
Jacques Botha, deputy principal of Woodridge College – which was devastated by raging fires in June – congratulated the staff on ensuring the matric class was well-prepared for the final examinations.
“The process went smoothly despite the disruption caused by the fire and the changes to infrastructure.
“Amica de Jager was our top performer – achieving seven distinctions.
“Woodridge is extremely proud of the determination and tenacity the entire school has shown in the wake of the massive challenges we have had to face.”
St Andrews College principal Alan Thompson said the class of 2017 had the highest number of distinctions achieved by a matric class at the school since the inception of the NSC in 2008.
“This year’s matric results are the best results in the history of our school, a fitting end to a year of really excellent work by our matric group,” he said.
“Real excellence is so easy to talk about but so hard to achieve.
“The achievements of the class of 2017 symbolise the magic that is created when hard work, talent and passion combine.”
He said 103 St Andrew’s boys wrote the exam and achieved a total of 224 subject distinctions, with Taha Anjum achieving seven.
Kingswood College principal Jonathan Trafford said: “While delighted with the results of our top achievers, this year’s results speak more to the achievements of the group who have, in many cases, produced some personal bests in terms of individual results.
“This can be attributed to their hard work and the preparation done for the examinations by the teaching staff.”
Pupils who did not make the grade could still do so through re-marks, which will be released in February, or supplementary exams scheduled for next month.