Oprah Winfrey's matrics all pass

2012-01-06 07:53

Johannesburg - The first graduating class at Oprah Winfrey's school for South African girls are set for further studies after passing their final exams, the board of directors said on Thursday.

The 72 girls together achieved A grades in 188 subjects, David Wylde told AFP.

"This tells us if you take girls from a disadvantaged background and give them a proper and extending education, they will perform superbly well," he said.

Overall, 70.2% of matrics passed last year's exams - up from 67.8% in 2010.

Education Minister Angie Motshekga said that 348 117 pupils passed their exams. Of these, 24.3% obtained university entrance.

There were 496 090 pupils who sat for the certificate.

In 2009, 60.7% of matrics passed the exams, which was just under 2% down from 2008.

About 80 000 matriculants studied part-time.

The multimillion-dollar school south of Johannesburg in Henley-on-Klip - founded with Winfrey's own money - opened in 2007 in a ceremony attended by former president Nelson Mandela.

The initial classes of girls at the school were aged between 11 and 13, chosen after 3 500 applications, with Winfrey choosing the final 152 for their academic and leadership qualities as well as their disadvantaged background.

A few months later, the school was rocked by abuse claims, when a dormitory matron was accused of indecent assault on six girls and a colleague. She was found not guilty last year.

The girls now plan to study everything from medicine and law to arts and engineering. Several have won full scholarships, others are still waiting for decisions on bursaries.

Two are set to attend American universities, eight are headed to schools in other countries, and 62 have been accepted at South African universities.

  • Mark - 2012-01-06 08:00

    South African students have it easy! i remember pass marks at high school being 33.3%..40% inorder to pass..and i was so proud of myself of passing with 45% in one subject..pathetic really when i look back.....should increase the pass mark level to say 50 or 60% min. in alot of other countries anything below 60% is fail. - 2012-01-06 08:31

      This really takes us back. The quality of the syllabus has decreased, the passing mark has also decreased to 25%. I am proud of these gals who have made it. one thing remains, if you are stupid , you will always be

      Flowingriver - 2012-01-06 09:16

      When is the Ku Klux Klan going to provide something like this for disadvantaged white girls.

      Blade - 2012-01-06 09:29

      @Flowingsewerage whites do not depend upon others to provide. They provide for themselves.

      Flowingriver - 2012-01-06 09:43

      @bluntBlade.......ur 100% right....they are able to do that by exploiting others........!

      henrileriche - 2012-01-06 09:45

      @Flowingriver - lol. You're another victim of the system are you? So tell us who you recently exploited and to even openly confess to it. How pathetic. I hate exploiters!

      Blade - 2012-01-06 10:01

      @flowingsewerage why do you continue to confuse the meaning of exploit with employ? You need to steal a dictionary.

      Blade - 2012-01-06 10:19

      @Flowingsewerage your head is so far up Juju's backside you can hear him think.

      Flowingriver - 2012-01-06 10:27

      @bluntBlade.......when JMs gonna make u jump, u gonna ask which ocean........!

      Blade - 2012-01-06 11:20

      @flowingurine I enjoy swimming in the ocean. Unlike you, Juju and the rest of the non-swimmers...

      Flowingriver - 2012-01-06 11:55

      @bluntBlade ......Flowing urine/sewerage out ur mouth, china. Why not face it your time in Africa is up........Its time for u and others like u to return home and help revive the failing economies in Europe....I thought u people cud provide for urselves......Next ur mother countries will be taking their begging bowls to China and be asking them for help!

      Mark - 2012-01-06 12:04

      Grow up flowing river! this is an article about education so take your racist comments elswhere. but then again you know nothing about education to comment on becuase clearly you were not educated. I feel sorry for you! BYE!

      Blade - 2012-01-06 13:05

      @flowingvomit do some research...the only countries in Europe that are having financial problems are the ones swamped with African immigrants. Even so, the standard of living in Europe is far higher than Africa where the majority live in shacks and run from country to country trying to escape war. Wipe the rubbish from your eyes and see the world for what it is.

      Mncedisi - 2012-01-06 15:39

      I think Flowingriver and Blade are exposing themselves. Very immature of you guys. Sorry to say it in this way. please try and find a way to return to some kind of school. thanks

  • Willie - 2012-01-06 08:02

    This is what happens when goverment is not involved

      Squeegee - 2012-01-06 08:19

      Imagine... if the party money was used to build a lasting legacy by educating a few thousand students properly... "No, pass the KFC!"

      Xavier7034 - 2012-01-06 10:15

      Actually, they are getting a bit too much involved, but in the wrong way, by doing away with Teacher' Training Colleges, School Inspectors, and now interfering with School governing bodies. That is the trouble with communistic theory (it does not work in real life) - they are trying to reduce everyone and everything to one basic common denominator. Problem is, with this type of thinking, it reduces the chances to perform brilliantly, develop the entrepreneurial mindset, and ultimately create jobs. How nice it would be if we had an EXCITING government, with EXCITING ideas, and South African students could LEAD the world? The potential is THERE - I have experienced it first hand.....teaching people to learn HOW to learn.

  • emile.eley - 2012-01-06 08:09

    FANTASTIC news. Thank you Miss O.

  • Elle-Black - 2012-01-06 08:11

    This is absolutely brilliant,obviously got very good marks to be accepted into american universities,well done girls.

  • Silver - 2012-01-06 08:18

    Don’t go to the US. We need you here to replace the current leaders and make sound educated decisions and to lead by example!

  • Comrade - 2012-01-06 08:20

    Thank you Oprah.

  • ozzie.oz1 - 2012-01-06 08:32

    When asked at a news conference here, "Why don't you open up a school for underprivileged white children"? Her response was, "I don't think I have to appease the white people of this country". Over 800,000 white families live in poverty in South Africa and counting......

      Onke Dali - 2012-01-06 08:49


      Cosmos O'Ndebele - 2012-01-06 09:06

      Pliz have life with yr gabbage, Why not consider community solidarity to help yr lot!!

      Beetroot - 2012-01-06 18:00

      You did not know???? Oprah is a huge racist!! She hates white people!!

      Beetroot - 2012-01-06 18:00

      Mind you I would hate anything if my bum was that big!!

  • Sybil - 2012-01-06 08:34 —

  • lynn.l.masombuka - 2012-01-06 08:42

    i just hope that these girls keep up the spirit of hard work, it would be so sad too see them get carried away by varsity hype and under perform, dnt get me twisted im not saying they shouldnt have a good time but they must obtain the foucus ov balance between partying and studying, Oprah is not gonna b around forever u knw

      Cindy - 2012-01-11 09:37

      Lynn about 30% of these girls will be attending Rhodes University in Grahamstown. Believe me they will keep up the "spirit of hard work", our Dean of Students is very pro-active and has a very low tolerance for students who squander their chance at a high-quality Tertiary education.... they will also be assured of all the support, help and counselling they may need to make the huge adjustment from school to University...... Rhodes doesnt have "Where Leaders Learn" as its motto merely as words, its the creed the entire University lives by

  • masiela.Rudluv - 2012-01-06 08:56

    agg cum on who really expected one of these girls to fail,they supposed to be the "best" ryt?!...*yawn*

  • Libby - 2012-01-06 09:02

    Congratulations girls, and well done to all those who helped you through. Matric is tough enough without all the added stress of today and it shows you what dedication and support can achieve. May it be a lesson to all those who burn their schools and attack their teachers - you harm no one more than your own selfish selves!

  • Nitronic - 2012-01-06 09:12

    Congrats now they all can say the ABC!!!! Whoopi

  • Tc - 2012-01-06 09:20

    Easy to get 100% pass if the scholars are hand-picked!

      Onke Dali - 2012-01-06 13:30

      Would you rather their names be drawn out of a hat?

      Chaapo - 2012-01-06 14:56

      Hand-picked for their social circumstances and nothing else. The rest of it, they had to step up big. It helps to have all the supports but lots of other children have and waste the opportunities. You did good girls!

  • Karabo - 2012-01-06 09:23

    Well done to the girls. From here on, work much harder and achieve far beyond your imaginations - you did well indeed.

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-01-06 09:28

    Well paid teachers = well performing students.

  • Pauline Hanekom - 2012-01-06 09:32

    Yes, they were hand picked, BUT, we always hear the teachers complaining the BIGGEST problem is that poverty=dumb students! These kids spent their primary school years in poverty and poverty stricken schools and excelled, that's why they were chosen. They showed they did not believe that poverty made them dumb! Now, if the teachers in poor schools will start teaching the appropriate amount of hours, in the appropriate language and put in as much effort as Oprah's school's teachers our country might actually turn out allright!

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-01-06 09:42

    You have to be a halfwit to fail the SA curriculum. It is great that these girls have been given the opportunity to Achieve something in life. Oprahs generosity should not be shunned. South Africa's elite should follow her example.

  • Moi - 2012-01-06 09:55

    Well done girls! Hope you do as well in your tertiary education and chosen fields!

  • Burtfred - 2012-01-06 09:56

    It's a great pity that there are no boys at the Oprah school. She seems somewhat sexist to me.

      Blade - 2012-01-06 10:20

      Can you imagine all the pregnancies that would occur?

  • John - 2012-01-06 10:14


  • J.D. - 2012-01-06 10:25

    My scho0l also have a 100% pass rate without pupils being selected for "acedemic and leadership qualities" so why is Oprah's school news and mine not???

  • Alexandre - 2012-01-06 13:32

    100 percent pass rate.Why is this news.Its a multi-million dollar school do we really expect any student to fail matric?

      Mncedisi - 2012-01-06 15:30

      UCT is an elite university where students pay large sums of money yet some fail. At UCT they have tutors, profs, libraries, residence close by and all that the oprah school can offer to a student for support Alex. trust me some failed.

  • Gaby - 2012-01-06 17:41

    However racist or sexist you want to get about it, the fact remains 72 young ladies have a brighter future ahead. Well done.

      Beetroot - 2012-01-06 17:56

      Well said Gaby. Each and every one of those girls have achieved a great step and I wish all of them the best of luck. They are now educated enough to step up to helping themselves to a better future. May all of them go into the future with optimistic values for South Africa. Well done girls!!!

  • Paulo - 2012-01-16 11:24

    she must come here spouting her western ways-VIVA SADTU VIVA!

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