Top of their class

The Settlers High School pupils celebrate after receiving their results.

The country’s top two matric pupils have put their schools in Bellville and Durbanville on the map with their hard work and dedication.

The results were released by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga last week.

 The Western Cape placed third -– with a pass rate of 82.8%, down by 3% from 2016 and behind Free State with 86% and Gauteng with 85% -– but Janke van Dyk, from Hoërskool Bellville, was named the top pupil in the country. 

She obtained distinctions in all of her eight subjects, with 100% in accounting, 99% in maths, 98% each in physical science, English and life sciences, and 97% in Afrikaans.

Janke told the Daily Voice she had started preparing for her matric exams at the beginning of the year and had gone through past exam papers. She will study chemical engineering at Stellenbosch University.

Second place went to Matthys Carstens, from Hoërskool Durbanville.

“It is not something I expected to come my way, but having it is truly a blessing,” he said. “I was nervous about the results because I was worried that I might have made stupid mistakes and be disappointed, but after I got the call from the department telling me that I am one of the top achievers in South Africa, I knew that I had done well and felt more relaxed about the results being released.”

Matthys will be studying a BCom Actuarial Science at Stellenbosch University. 

He said his career choices had always been between accounting and actuarial science, but he had decided to go for the latter after doing some job shadowing and research.

He advised the matrics of 2018 to study for the June exams as if they were studying for the finals. “Then, when the final exams strike, you can only work out as many past papers as possible, which is the best preparation you can get. You must put everything you can into your final year, not only academically, but also in other school and sport activities. Passion, discipline and having your goal in mind is the key,” he said.

Hoërskool Bellville maintained its 100% pass rate from the previous year, while Hoërskool Durbanville’s pass rate dropped slightly from 98.9% to 97.9%. Other schools in Bellville and Durbanville had a slight drop in marks with Bellville Technical High School (HTS) achieving 91.6%, down from 97.4% the previous year; DF Malan High School went from 100% to 98.9%; and The Settlers High School had a 2.3% drop from 98.7% to 96.4%. 

Fairmont High School, however, managed a slight increase from 99.2% to 99.6%. Fisantekraal High School’s pass rate increased from 64% to 79.5%.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said she was pleased the province had again achieved the highest percentage of bachelor’s passes in the country, with 39.1% of pupils achieving this quality pass that grants access to university. 

In mathematics, the Western Cape achieved the highest pass rate, achieving 73.9% and the pass rate for physical sciences was 74%.

“More pupils in the Western Cape are taking maths and science as a percentage of the cohort, something that we have been encouraging over a number of years. While the overall cohort in the Western Cape was 2000 learners smaller than 2016, the number of learners taking maths and science only decreased by 703 and 329 respectively,” she said.