Remarks made by Premier Winde at the 2019 National Senior Certificate Awards
The Western Cape Education Department held its annual National Senior Certificate Awards today, where the top schools and learners received recognition for their hard work and academic achievements.
These awards are annually hosted at Leeuwenhof.
During his keynote address, Premier Winde said that the learners present had excelled despite the challenges which faced them, including loadshedding, and in some cases, safety concerns.
The Western Cape produced the top three learners in the country, while also achieving the highest percentage of distinctions in the country. Special recognition was given to top Western Cape- and South Africa learner, Madelein Dippenaar from Hoërskool Gimnasium (Paarl).
In his message to the learners, Premier Winde said: “We are a growing economy with exciting sectors such as ICT, tech and agro-processing, which all need your skills. There are also a lot of opportunities that arise out of the challenges facing our country, including our need to drive energy security, and play our part in climate change. Some of the above career paths require university qualifications, while others require more technical trades. All of these careers are extremely valuable as we seek to play our part in building a better province, country and planet.”
The Western Cape Education Department also gives Special Ministerial Awards to learners who achieved excellent academic results despite facing tremendous hardships. One of these awards was bestowed upon twin brothers, Yaqoob- and Yusuf Arrison, from Bernadino Heights High School in Scottsdene.
These brothers overcame a serious attempt on their lives by a relative two years ago, and despite the heartbreak and physical harm they suffered, they completed their matric examinations, and both received a Bachelor’s pass.
Premier Winde said: “These brothers persevered and achieved with all the odds stacked against them. Their story is a stark reminder of the realities some of our children face. Our job must be to ensure that the learners of our province can attend school free from fear, and have a thriving future. That is why a key focus of our new safety plan is to deepen the values system at our schools, and to ensure better support systems for those learners who are displaying risky behavior. We are also aiming to introduce special programmes for our boys, so that they can assume positive leadership roles in our society, as fathers and partners and neighbours.”
Premier Winde congratulated the Arrison brothers on their achievements, and commended them on their perseverance to succeed despite their circumstances.