A proud Western Cape celebrates top schools and learners
The Western Cape achieved the highest pass rate in the country in 2015 with 84.7% - an increase of 2.5 percentage points from 2014. The Western Cape is also first in a number of key quality indicators, including bachelors passes, maths and science passes as well as increasing the retention rate by 3% from 2014.
The achievements were celebrated at the annual Western Cape National Senior Certificate Awards Ceremony held at Leeuwenhof, the Premier’s official residence on 12 January.
Learners received awards for different achievements and the top candidates in the province are Andrew John Tucker (South African College School), William Ferdinand Mey (Hoërskool Tygerberg) and Talo Jo Ross (Claremont High School) who ranked first, second and third respectively.
Andrew John Tucker also received the Minister’s Special award for exceptional academic achievement and inspirational fortitude despite huge personal challenges.
At the beginning of his matric year he was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disorder called Guillain–Barré (gee-yan-buh-rey) syndrome which is a particularly debilitating disease where the body’s immune system attacks parts of the peripheral nervous system. This lead him to miss almost six months of schooling last year – including the entire first term and parts of the second term.
Despite these incredible challenges he not only managed to pass his matric, but achieved seven top-class distinctions, and the number 1 position in the country!
The other student that received the Minister’s Special award for exceptional academic achievement and inspirational fortitude despite huge personal challenges is Nkosingiphile Janine Mabuza.
She had to leave school at the age of 12 to look after her parents who were both diagnosed with cancer. For 2 years she cared for her parents and managed the household. In 2008 her father died of brain cancer. She and her mother then moved to Napier where her mother died 2 days later.
Despite these traumatic experiences she decided to go back to school and complete her education. In grade 7 she was elected as the head girl of her school, Protea Primary in Napier. At Bredasdorp High School she was elected to the Council of Learners. She passed the National Senior Certificate with 3 B symbols, 3 C symbols and qualifies to study a degree at a tertiary institution.
She has proven that anyone can succeed despite difficult times if you are prepared to work hard and maintain a positive attitude.
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.
Special guest, National Minister Angie Motshekga congratulated Premier Helen Zille and Minister Debbie Schäfer for the leadership they’ve provided and for the good work the province does.
Minister Schäfer expressed her gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of the province’s matriculants.
Addressing the learners Minister Schäfer said “You have done us proud. Those of you who have studied under very difficult circumstances, you are true champions.
Whatever you wish to do from now on, I wish you all the very best. Work hard, have fun, appreciate your friends and family, and do what you can to help our country.
Believe in yourself, don't lose your integrity, and never give up.”
You can view the full lists of the top performing Western Cape learners and schools below.