Top Learners and Schools Honoured at Awards Ceremony
Excited learners, parents and teachers braved the heat to attend the Western Cape National Senior Certificate Awards Ceremony at Leeuwenhof, the Premier’s official residence at the foot of Table Mountain, on 14 January.
The ceremony is an annual event that recognises the remarkable achievements of matric learners and schools in the province.
Learners received various awards for their achievements. Top of the list were Yi-Tin Michelle Yuan (Rustenburg Girls High), Daniel Mesham (Diocesan College) and Antoinette Schoeman (Hoërskool DF Malan), who ranked first, second and third in the province respectively.
Against All Odds
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) also recognised matriculants who achieved excellent academic results in the face of tremendous hardship.
Among these were Sisipho Angel Khubukeli, 18, from Pionier School for the Visually Impaired in Worcester, who achieved to As, two Bs and two Cs despite being visually impaired.
Her diligence and perseverance paid off as she was accepted to study a BA degree in language and communications at the University of Stellenbosch.
Another learner, Masolino Willemse from Scottsdene Secondary School in Kraaifontein (pictured with his mother Joan and former principal Karel Cupido, right), overcame extreme hardship. Although the death of a close friend, gangsterism and crime within his community nearly derailed him, he was determined to do well.
“There were many challenges in my community. I decided that I would be example for the youth in my community and all children as they need someone to look up to.”
On 26 January this year, Wilemse will start his information technology studies at Prestige Academy in Bellville.
His former principal, Karel Cupido, said Masolino’s achievement and the schools pass rate of 90% has encouraged teachers to improve this year. Cupido, who has a ”no nonsense policy” said, “we are very excited about this year and we are determined to make it a success.”
Thanks to Education Officials
Hosting the ceremony were Premier Helen Zille, Western Cape Minister of Education Debbie Schäfer and the Western Cape Education Department’s Head of Education Penny Vinjevold, among other officials.
Minister Schäfer expressed her gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of the province’s matriculants.
“I would like to thank all the teachers, principals, district officials and their support teams for their hard work and commitment to education in the Western Cape,” she said in her speech, before adding that the “only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary”.