×

We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Cape Town school doubles its matric pass rate

21 January 2022 - 16:18
Timothy Wilson is the top pupil in the class of 2021 at Scottsville Secondary School.
Timothy Wilson is the top pupil in the class of 2021 at Scottsville Secondary School.
Image: Esa Alexander

The Scottsville community in Kraaifontein, Cape Town, is bedevilled by gang violence, drugs and poverty.

But pupils at Scottsville Secondary School did not let their circumstances dampen their spirits. They doubled their matric pass rate from 29.5% in 2020 to 64.0% in 2021.

On Friday, principal Henry Hockey attributed the success to hard work.

Scottsville Secondary principal Henry Hockey.
Scottsville Secondary principal Henry Hockey.
Image: Philani Nombembe

He explained challenges faced by the community.

“We have a lot of backyard dwellers, people who are unemployed. The level of poverty is scary. Gang violence is rife and so are drugs. Those things are a sign of a broken community. But we are working hard to ensure pupils feel safe and can achieve,” said Hockey.

He said teachers had sacrificed their family time for pupils.  

“We did this through hard work and sacrifice. Sometimes the teachers work far beyond their working hours, cutting their family time to ensure we prepare these kids adequately.

“When I went to fetch the results this morning, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I didn’t know what to expect. We could have done much better, but it’s an improvement. I am happy for the class of 2021. Despite all the challenges, we made it.”

Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schäfer and her top officials visited the school to celebrate the release of the matric results with the pupils.

“The school had the greatest improvement in pass rate last year across the whole province, from 29.5% in 2020 to 64.0% in 2021 with a similar number of matrics writing in both years — an increase of 34.5 percentage points. They also achieved a 22.5% bachelors pass rate, or double what it was last year,” said Schäfer.

“I congratulate principal Henry Hockey and his team, and I look forward to an even greater improvement this year.”

Schäfer also sang metro east education district director Landie Diamond’s praises. “[This]  wonderful director has been here since January 1 last year. She has been moving and shaking and you guys have benefited from that,” she said.

Timothy Wilson, 17, is the school’s top matriculant.

“I have been trying to come out top for a while. I always came second,” he said.

“I wasn’t expecting anything above a 70% average. I want to study dentistry. I was raised by a single mother — my father passed away when I was three years old — so I had to make her proud.

“My teachers did not doubt I would make it. Studying is a routine for me.”

Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schäfer, centre, with officials Alan Meyer, left, and Landie Diamond celebrating the release of matric results at Scottsville Secondary School.
Western Cape education MEC Debbie Schäfer, centre, with officials Alan Meyer, left, and Landie Diamond celebrating the release of matric results at Scottsville Secondary School.
Image: Philani Nombembe

Wilson lives in Durbanville and said he has always been worried about the safety of fellow pupils.

“I am more worried about my friends who live in this community,” he said. “I used to check up on them every time I heard about shootings. I am glad they also made it.”

Hockey said the second top pupil, Prisca Kihali, is from Congo and had to study in Afrikaans for the first time but passed with flying colours.

“Their average is close to 70%,” Hockey said about the two pupils.

“If you take into account that the girl who is the second top pupil is from Congo, her first languages are Lingala and French, she has done all her subjects in Afrikaans and she achieved that kind of average — that is phenomenal!”

TimesLIVE


subscribe

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.