As per annual tradition, Western Cape premier, Helen Zille, hosted a ceremony honouring the top achieving learners and schools in the Western Cape for 2015.
In attendance at the ceremony was national minister for basic education, Angie Motshekga, who said she was honoured to have been invited to the occasion.
“I’m very happy with the performance in the Western Cape, good work in the province sets up a higher benchmark and really has a positive pull, so to see the Western Cape performing this well helps the whole nation to improve,” said Minister Motshekga whilst addressing a crowd of journalist on the green lawns of the Premiers house in Gardens.
“80% percent of the top learners were girls, it says something about how we need to socialise our kids…the way we socialise young girls at an early age gives us results,” Minister Motshekga went further.
Provincial minister of education, Debbie Schaffer said that the Western Cape had the top three learners in the entire country so the department had something to celebrate this year. There was also a 20% increase in the pass rate in schools located in poorer areas. Those schools, including Spine Road Secondary school and Mfuleni Secondary school were honoured at today’s event.
Rehana Hanekar, deputy principal at Spine Road Secondary school described the honouring as momentous occasion for the school because this had been the best results that the school has achieved in 30 years.
Despite challenges that the school might face, including unemployment and poverty in the area, the deputy principal said the school is committed to ensuring learners achieve the best results.
“We don’t allow any obstacles to interfere with the progress of our learners, we try our outmost to ensure a positive learning environment for the learners and our teachers really give 110% in terms of passion and commitment,” explains Hanekar.
“This year our aim is to achieve a 100% bachelors pass and we have already started today, our grade 12s have all arrived and our teachers are busy teaching our learners from today.”
Mohammed Cassiem, a learner from Claremont High school was amongst those learners that were honoured at the event and he said that it was an exquisite feeling to be honoured amongst the top achievers in the country.
“I’ve always dreamt of achieving so much and it is an honour to be here, when I started matric at the beginning of the year (2015) I thought that it would be a daunting task, but it turned out to be much better than expected,” Cassiem expressed.
Another learner, Saarah Hendricks from Livingston High school said her plans for 2016 include studying medicine at Stellenbosch University.
Premier Helen Zille said that the Education portfolio was the most important one because her vision was that every single person recieve an opportunity to improve their lives. VOC (Umarah Hartley)