NSC Awards for Outstanding Achievement by Learners in 2009 at Leeuwenhof
Premier Helen Zille
DDGs and other senior officials from WCED
Teacher union representatives
Principals and teachers representing schools receiving awards today
Grade 12 learners who will be honoured today, and their parents
Representatives of Maskew Miller Longman, Mustek who have generously contributed to the prizes of today's event.
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am delighted to be here to recognise the achievements of some of our top candidates in the Western Cape for the 2009 National Senior Certificate Examinations.
While we are pleased to be able to honour these learners here today, it is regrettable that we have had to hold two separate functions for the second year running due to delays in receiving detailed data from the national Department of Education.
We are committed to ensuring that next year all learners will be recognised at the same function and that more categories of excellence will be rewarded. For example, teachers and principals should also be recognised and valued as they play an integral role in improving learner outcomes and individual school performance.
But today we are celebrating the outstanding achievement of twenty-eight of our province's candidates, many of whom, have reached this point despite living and learning in very difficult circumstances. This is a testimony to their courage and perseverance and they are an inspiration to us all.
Recognised today are three learners from Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN) schools who have achieved excellence despite barriers to learning.
We are extremely proud of their success and that of their fellow learners. Each of the six LSEN schools in the Province that wrote the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations achieved a 100% pass rate. I would like to congratulate Vista Nova High School, Pionier Skool, Jan Kriel Skool, Dominican Grimley School, De La Bat School and Tafelberg School on this remarkable achievement.
Today we will also be presenting awards to the top 20 candidates from historically disadvantaged schools.
Many of our young learners from historically disadvantaged schools have excelled, demonstrating that hard work and commitment does pay off no matter what environment you are in. You should all be extremely proud of yourselves and I sincerely hope that most of you will continue to study further and become, perhaps, some of our future young leaders, engineers, teachers, doctors or lawyers!
Special mention must be made of Livingstone High School and Belgravia Secondary, who represent eight of the twenty candidates rewarded here today.
Finally, we will also be presenting awards to learners who have achieved outstanding results in specific subjects. These include isiXhosa, English, Afrikaans, Mathematics and Physical Science. Well done to all of you.
To all our candidates, I hope that you will take full advantage of the opportunities presented to you. With continuous hard work and effort, you will reap the rewards and open the door to a brighter future for you and the generations that follow.
While you begin your journey outside of the school environment, we are still working very hard to improve our schools.
The 2009 NSC results have revealed some major flaws within our education system. This administration has already commenced to remedy those flaws and is committed to creating a quality education system that benefits all learners of the Western Cape. We will not rest until all parents are able to send their child to their nearest public school, reasonably confident in the knowledge that their child will receive a quality education. All of our effort is being put into making this ideal a reality.
As we begin to implement the different aspects of our strategic plan for education, we make an appeal to all parents, teachers, principals and learners to give your support to this plan.
Unlike any other province, we have set specific targets for improvement in literacy and numeracy, the National Senior Certificate examination results and under-performing schools.
In the next few weeks we will be announcing some major new initiatives to turnaround our underperforming schools and the NSC pass rate in 2010. We will also be making some dramatic decisions regarding our infrastructure plan in order to address the issue of overcrowding in some of our province's schools. These are bold and necessary initiatives that will not be achieved unless we have the full cooperation and support of all roleplayers.
We have already had a successful start to 2010, and, through a sustained, focused and systematic approach we will, together, achieve the targets that we have set.
Once again, I would like to wish all of our examination officials, who, under the leadership of Brian Schreuder and his colleagues, Tina Singh, Andre Clausen, Zodwa Modimakwane and their teams, made this examination process a major success.
I would also like to thank the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and the office of the Premier for organising this wonderful event.
Minister of Education, Donald Grant
Cell: 072 724 1422
Tel: 021 467 2377