A great New Year’s Eve for IEB matrics

2014-12-31 13:32

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2015’s off to an excellent start for the country’s Independent Examinations Board (IEB) matriculants as they flocked to their schools to celebrate a 98% pass rate.

Among those popping the figurative Champagne corks was Daniel Erasmus from St John’s College in Johannesburg, who scored 12 distinctions.

“I don’t what to say. I’m just really happy with this achievement,” he told City Press while his proud parents looked on, their eyes glistening with joy.

The average student takes between seven and eight subjects in Matric – but Erasmus couldn’t decide which subjects to drop in Grade 10, so he took them all.

“I wanted to have all my options open when it came to choosing a career path.”

With four extra subjects, Erasmus received after-school lessons and in some areas had to do some “self study.”

Even with a diverse subject choice, the 18-year-old hasn’t yet decided what he wants to study but has a keen interest in philosophy and linguistics.

“I want to study abroad, possibly at Oxford. But I went to New York a few months ago and I really like Columbia University.”

Pontsho Morapeli at neighbouring all-girls’ Roedean School was just as excited as Erasmus. Fondly refered to as a “maths whizz” by her peers – she won the prestigious school’s maths and advanced maths prizes – she scored five distinctions.

Her father was on hand to share the moment with his daughter and couldn’t hide his delight.

“We are so proud. She wants to study Actuarial Science at Wits or UCT,” he said with glee.

When asked if there was a special present for his top achieving daughter, Morapeli giggled and said: “We are going to give her the best gift any parent can give to their child — which is to help her follow her dreams and have the opportunity to attend any university she wants.”

A stone’s throw away from Roedean School, Francis Ovenden was Sacred Heart College’s top achiever, taking home eight distinctions.

His delighted mother said of her son’s achievement: “We are very proud of him. It wasn’t a huge surprise because of his academic history. But we are still very happy.”

A seemingly shy Ovenden said he was happy with his results but found the exams a bit nerve racking. “I was very nervous when I wrote my first exam – English. But my nerves got better as the exams went on.”

The 17-year-old, who has a strong interest in science and history, is considering to take a gap year to travel and visit family abroad.

His advice for next year’s matrics? Read.

“Read beyond your text books.”

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