Gauteng’s 2021 top matriculants were honoured at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg on Friday.
Tshwane South District, with 89.3%, was the top performing district in the country, the Ekurhuleni South District was in fourth place nationally with 86.5% and, at 84.9%, Johannesburg North District was ninth in the top 10 districts that achieved the highest pass rates in the country.
“We might not be proud that we are number two but we are proud that we are amongst the best,” said the basic education MEC in Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, who gave the keynote address at the event.
He announced that the province had 79 of its learners as the best performing matriculants in the country and had one of the highest bachelor passes in the country.
“As I speak to you today, 55 000 of our children passed matric with bachelor passes. What it means, Gauteng alone can fill all universities in the country. And what it means is that in Gauteng, out of every 10 learners, eight of them have passed matric and out of the eight five of them have bachelor passes,” added Lesufi.
Gauteng also had at least 130 of its schools achieving a 100% pass rate and almost 462 schools had a pass rate of above 90%. Lesufi said it was an indication that the province was dedicated to ensuring that learners from the province received quality education.
Parktown High School for Girls, Afrikaans Hoër Meisieskool, Hoërskool Waterkloof and Hoërskool Menlo Park achieved a 95% bachelor passes.
With nine distinctions, Kristen Erasmus of Hoërskool Waterkloof was the overall top learner in the province.
Erasmus passed physical science, maths, alpha maths, life sciences, accounting, business studies, Afrikaans home language, English first additional language and life orientation. She is going to study Bcom Accounting Sciences at the University of Pretoria.
“I feel a bit overwhelmed but I’m very excited and happy. I didn’t really expect it at all,” said Erasmus.
She has already secured a job with auditing company PwC when she completes her four years of studies, where she will be trained towards becoming a chartered accountant.
“I applied at the beginning of last year and anybody who wants to can apply. I wanted to be prepared for my future,” she said.
According to Lesufi, the number of no-fee schools and township schools that performed well was also higher than it had ever been in the history of the province.
Ratshepo Secondary School, Soshanguve Secondary School and Lethukuthula Secondary School were the province’s top performing township schools.
“Diepsloot Secondary School No 2 gave us 77% bachelor passes. Diepsloot Combined School gave us 78% bachelor passes. These schools in Diepsloot are demonstrating our commitment to turn around township education,” said Lesufi.
Raymond Mamabolo, of Chipa-Tabane Secondary School in Cullinan, Gauteng North, was the top learner who came from a township no-fee paying school.
He got 100% in maths, physical science and life sciences. His other distinctions were for geography, Sepedi home language, English first additional language and life orientation.
The excited Mamabolo said that although he knew he was going to pass matric, the seven distinctions in all of his subjects were a pleasant surprise.
Raised by a single mother, whom he says was one of the people who made it possible for him to focus on his studies, Mamabolo’s plan is to study actuarial science at the University of Cape Town.
“I didn’t expect this and having worked so hard over the years, it feels so great to see that my hard work has finally paid off. This is the greatest feeling ever,” said Mamabolo.
“I wanted to study medicine at first but when my trainer suggested that I study actuarial science and when I came home, I researched about what the field was all about and I’m quite interested in that. It also involves business and finance, so I’m interested in that because I get to do the subjects that I love the most and I get to learn about what I’m interested in,” he said.
All the top learners have received bursaries, cash prizes and certificates from the Gauteng department of basic education as well as from private companies.