Celebrating exceptional achievement in the Western Cape
Statement by Minister Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education Western Cape
It has been a busy time these past two weeks, with learners competing in various events across the country.
We are extremely proud of the achievements of our learners who have taken top spot in various National Competitions. Various local competitions saw learners also compete against each other.
Some of these highlights include:
Western Cape learner crowned national spelling bee champion
Bayyinah Manjoo from Star College Sybrand in the Western Cape scooped the 2019 Spelling Bee honours.
Twenty-seven hopefuls between Grade 4 and 6 from around country gathered in Pretoria to put their spelling skills to the test against their peers.
The spellers went through eight elimination rounds with words like quinoa, leprechaun, chronomentrophobia, apotheosis, insuperable, racketeering, incontrovertible and psychoacoustics,until the champion speller was the only one left.
Fatima Ismail of Boston Primary School in Bellville finished in third position.
The Spelling Bee, which was initiated in 2014, is part of the Department of Basic Education’s Read to Lead campaign. It was hosted in collaboration with The Department of Arts and Culture, SABC Education, The AVBOB Foundation and UNISA.
Well done to all the participants for braving the might of the adjudicators, holding their nerve and representing their provinces with aplomb. We are ever so proud of the Western Cape team!!
Western Cape learners shine in SA Mathematics Olympiad
Emmanuel Rassou, a Grade 9 learner at South African College High School (SACS), won the junior division of the South African Mathematics Olympiad for the second time in a row. He was also part of the 2019 South African Pan African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO) team.
The first round of the SAMO took place in March with more than 91 000 learners from 1 320 schools participating. A total of 18 858 learners wrote the second round in May and the best 214 learners from the second round qualified for the final round in July.
The South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) held their annual awards function in Gordon’s Bay in September.
Several Western Cape learners were runners up in the senior and junior divisions.
In the senior division Taariq Mouzer (Fairbairn College) took second place, Danielle Kleyn (Hoërskool Parel Vallei) was fourth, Emil van der Walt (Hoërskool Jan van Riebeeck) in fifth and Adri Wessels (Curro Durbanville) in seventh position.
Runners-up in the junior division included Juliette Roux (Herschel Girls’ High School) Kim Minkyum (Reddam House Durbanville), Shelby le Roux (Rustenburg Girls’ High School), Alex Sinclair-Smith (Westerford High School), Kate Forrest (Herschel Girls’ High School), Dale Rainier-Pope (Westerford High School) and Robert Kotze (Bishops Diocesan College).
Rondebosch Boys’ High School came out tops with three awards namely, top performing school in Western Cape, top performing quintile five school and national top performing school.
Samuel Tucker (Pinelands High School) received the best senior Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) learner award.
The SAMF programmes such as the SAMO are used to select and train learners for international competitions. Some of the best young mathematicians in the country will be invited to an Olympiad camp in December 2019 hosted by the University of Stellenbosch. From this training squad the South African teams for the PAMO and the IMO will be selected.
SA Mathematics Challenge
A total of 164 Western Cape learners have qualified for the final round of the South African Mathematics Challenge for Grades 4 to 7 learners,the most learners out of all the provinces in the country.
The challenge consists of three rounds. Learners must achieve 50% to qualify for round 2. Participants who achieve 80% or more qualify for the next round.
The challenge is organised by the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) in cooperation with the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa (AMESA) and the South African Mathematical Society (SAMS).
The final round was pre-empted by a high level problem solving workshop for teachers and learners.
The WCED is proud of the learners that qualified for round 3.
The national winners will be announced at a gala function in Johannesburg later this month.
Life Sciences learners participate in provincial Online Quiz Competition
On Saturday, 14 September 2019, 366 Grade 12 learners from 40 schools across the Western Cape gathered at Wynberg Girls’ High School to compete in the semi-finals and finals of the provincial Life Sciences Quiz.
The quiz was organised by the Life Sciences subject team in partnership with the mGenAfrica platform, an initiative of the University of Cape Town (UCT), and the e-learning team of Metro South Education District.
The Moodle-based quiz platform offers learners the opportunity to gauge their knowledge and prepare for examinations and tests through online quizzes, which include questions from past NSC examination papers available on the SAASTE Moodle site.
Learners entered as individuals or as teams and schools could enter both team and individual participants. The preliminary rounds were done online. While the team and individual heats took place, the rest of the learners attended inspiring science career talks by UCT researchers or visited career exhibitions.
In the individual category, Mbasakazi Songololo from Spine Road High School was crowned the overall winner. She was followed closely by Charles Martin from South Peninsula High School in second position and Merel van den Brink from Parklands College in third.
In the group category, South Peninsula High School came first, followed by Sinethemba High School in second position and Fairmont High School in third position.
Ridaa Botha of Spine Road High School received a special award for the most active learner on the SAASTE Moodle site at https://saastewc.co.za since January 2019.
Mbasakazi Songololo received a trophy and a laptop, as well as the opportunity to attend the 13th African Society of Human Genetics Conference in Tanzania. She will be accompanied by one of her teachers. All other winners received scientific calculators, trophies, memory sticks and backpacks. All prizes were sponsored by UCT and various partners.
The Life Sciences team plans to have district online quizzes followed by a final provincial quiz competition in 2020.
South African Programming Olympiad
On Monday, the 2019 South African Programming Olympiad Finals took place.
Learners had, over a two day period, to write efficient programs to solve various problems.
Permitted languages were Python, Java, Pascal (for Delphi learners) and C++.
Eleven of the 19 finalists were from the Western Cape. Six Western Cape finalists were from Public Ordinary schools, and five were from Independent schools. The Western Cape finalists earned four medals (1 silver, 3 bronze).
Taariq Mowzer from Fairbairn College achieved a Silver medal.
The three bronze medalists were:
Annekin Meyburgh from Bellville HS
Emil van der Walt from Hoerskool Jan van Riebeeck
Adri Wessels from Curro Durbanville.
South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) International bridge building competition
Brackenfell High School’s bridge building team won first place in this year’s annual South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) International bridge building competition.
The school, one of the Engineering Graphics and Design schools in the province, competed against 15 teams from high schools across the country for the title as 2019 Bridge building champion and a cash prize.
The competition was held at Southdowns College in Centurion on 30 August 2019.
The winning team, Marx Meyer, Rohan Smith and Branden Warwick, constructed a bridge using dowel sticks and glue, weighing only 120g, which had a remarkable weight-bearing capacity of 244kg.
Neil Simons, Deputy Chief Education Specialist: Civil Technology and Engineering Graphics and Design, congratulated the team, under the leadership of Mr J Nieuwoudt (EGD Teacher), for the outstanding achievement.
Congratulations to all our learners - you have done yourselves and the entire province proud!
Western Cape Education Department
072 7241422 (please whatsapp or sms me if unavailable)