Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

10 January, 2012

Western Cape releases names of top candidates and schools in the province.

This morning, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Education Minister Donald Grant hosted an awards function at Leeuwenhof to acknowledge the outstanding success of schools and individual learners from throughout this province in the 2011 National Senior Certificate examinations.

The Western Cape government's overarching education goal is to increase the number of children receiving a quality education. This is particularly important in a province where large numbers of learners drop out from grades 10 to 12. This goal, of increased numbers of children in receiving quality education, informs the selection of the schools we celebrated and rewarded today.

There were two categories of school awards presented today.

The first recognized and rewarded schools that achieved increased numbers of learners passing in the NSC. The first ten are for those schools that over the three year period, 2009 to 2011, showed the greatest increase in the numbers of learners passing the NSC. This morning Hector Peterson Secondary School in Wallacedene took the top spot with their number of learners passing the NSC increasing from 118 in 2009, to 153 in 2010 and 201in 2012.

The second ten schools rewarded showed the greatest increases in the number of learners achieving a pass allowing access to Bachelor's study. In this category, Manzomthombo Secondary School in Mfuleni achieved a 66 bachelor passes, compared to 18 in 2009 and 42 in 2010.

The second category "excellence in quality" was awarded to the top 20 schools that provided excellent quality education as reflected in the NSC results of 2011. In this category the criteria included, the pass rate in the 2011 NSC the endorsement rate, the ratio of passes in mathematics in relation to the number of grade 12 candidates at the school. Only schools that maintained the number of learners in grade 12 were considered for this category.

The title of the top school in the province went to Rustenburg High School for Girls who achieved 154 passes at 100%, and a 98.1% bachelor pass rate.

But the highlight of the day went to the ninth position in this category. The Centre for Science and Technology (COSAT) in Khayelitsha achieved 9th position in the top ten schools in the province.

Premier Helen Zille announced the award saying, "This is a historic moment for the Western Cape. For the first time ever, a school in one of the most disadvantaged parts of South Africa is one of our top ten schools in the province. It's the first ever township school to make the top ten purely on merit."

"COSAT'S success story is why we began maths and science schools under my tenure as MEC for education from 1999- 2001. If South Africa is to become a success then we need more and more children taking mathematics in this country."

Minister Donald Grant said that he was delighted that COSAT had been named as one of the top performing schools and said, "I have visited the school on numerous occasions and there is a clear and present passion for mathematics and physical science at the school - which are obviously translating into good results!"

He was also proud of the department's achievements in relocating the school to a new premises and building last year. As part of the WCED's infrastructure plan, in 2009 it was decided after a visit by Minister Grant to the school that a new school would be built in Ilitha Park in Khayelitsha to accommodate the learners of COSAT.

"By relocating the school to a new premises we are 'expanding access to quality education' under this government," he said.

"The relocation and the building of the new school will mean that 300 additional learners now have access to a school that delivers quality education. "

Subject awards were also made to schools that produced the highest number of passes in each of the following subjects: Mathematics, Physical Science, Accounting, Afrikaans Home Language, Xhosa Home Language and English Home Language.

Special mention must be made to Paarl Roos Gimnasium who achieved excellence in both Mathematics and Physical Science by producing the highest number of passes in both of these subjects.

In individual awards, a special Ministerial award was made to two candidates.

"The WCED is aware that every year there are numerous candidates who achieve excellent academic results in the face of tremendous hardship, ill health and personal obstacles. We are struck by the courage and fortitude displayed by many learners and families in achieving impressive goals," said Grant.

"This year we wish to recognize two learners who exemplify the exceptional courage shown by many, many of whom are not known to us, in achieving their success."

Special Ministerial Awards were presented to Sihle Christopher Tom from the Centre of Science and Technology who contracted and combatted TB during his studies and achieved 4 distinctions in the NSC. The second candidate, Gesie Maria Theron is still currently battling brain cancer and has had to juggle her studies with numerous chemotherapy sessions. Geisie achieved a 3 A's and 2 B's in the 2011 NSC.

The top three positions in the province went to four learners. (In second place, two of the candidates achieved the same results). The first position went to Ashraf Moolla from Rondebosch Boys High School. Ashraf achieved seven distinctions in 2011, with a 100% pass rate in both mathematics and physical science.

Two candidates from HoŽrskool Stellenberg, Jani Marais and Charl du Plessis achieved the second position, and in third place was Caitlin Hayward from Herschel Girls High School.

"To all the candidates here today, I should like to thank you for the hard work that you have put into your studies throughout your school years. This hard work has now paid off, and I sincerely hope that you realise just how proud this government, this department and the people of the Western Cape Province are of your achievements," said Grant.

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or

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