Aberdeen Secondary’s Class of 2019 achieved a 43.5% pass rate, up from the previous year’s 35%.
Ten of the 23 full-time learners passed, of whom six qualified to study for a bachelor’s degree, and three qualified to study a diploma course. Those who were unsuccessful are all eligible to write supplementary exams in June.
The good quality passes achieved by most of the learners is a reflection not only of their efforts, but also the dedication of the teachers, many of whom gave up their holidays to give extra classes.
The top student is Marinda Maarman, who achieved distinctions in English FAL, history and life orientation. Marinda is the first pupil this century to achieve three distinctions! This articulate young lady, who was the school’s head girl last year, attributes her good results to a great support system and hard work throughout her school career. She plans to study education of UFS, specialising in languages.
Maphelo Ntsibolane is another matriculant who plans to study education, in Cape Town. “I studied very hard, and didn’t even sleep some nights,” she said. She explained that she wanted to make her parents proud, and to emulate her successful sister.
Mkulile Botmani wants to make the most of his passion to engage with people, and plans to study industrial psychology at UWC. The desire to be a role model to his younger brother motivated him to achieve.
Benito Steenkamp, another with a bachelor pass, overcame many hurdles during his matric year, including the death of his grandfather during the June exams. His dream is to study sound engineering, but due to lack of finances, has decided to first complete an office administration course at college, for which he has a bursary.
Although obviously disappointed that the school achieved less than a 50% pass rate, Principal Timotheus Webb is pleased that the interventions initiated by the school in 2019 seem to have paid off. Extra study sessions were offered to learners throughout the year by the teachers, as well as weekend classes and winter school provided by the Department of Education in Graaff-Reinet.
The school faced many challenges during the last year, including the serious illness of three teachers, who later passed away. All three teachers were absent for prolonged periods due to their poor health, which put tremendous pressure on the school’s management team as their workload and responsibilities were drastically increased, and some classes were inevitably left without teachers.
At this stage, the school is still not fully staffed for this year, although Webb hopes that this will be finalised soon. He would like to see more involvement from the parents this year, with improved communication and support for the children from their families.