Girl power conquers IEB matric exam results in KZN

2020-01-07 16:31
Grace College’s Joshua Benadie is flanked by Maryam Mahomed of Epworth School and Sarah Burnett from St John’s DSG. They were among the top performing pupils for the 2019 IEB matric exams, and are pictured at the KZN National Botanical Gardens in Prestbury yesterday. PHOTO: Moeketsi Mamane

Grace College’s Joshua Benadie is flanked by Maryam Mahomed of Epworth School and Sarah Burnett from St John’s DSG. They were among the top performing pupils for the 2019 IEB matric exams, and are pictured at the KZN National Botanical Gardens in Prestbury yesterday. PHOTO: Moeketsi Mamane

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It is becoming a cliché, but KwaZulu-Natal girls have once again edged out the boys on the outstanding performers’ list for the IEB matric exam results.

Ten of the 16 pupils placed among the top pupils in the country were girls.

Outstanding achievers scored within the top five percent in six or more subjects, and got a rating of 7 in Life Orientation.

Midlands schools had five pupils among the outstanding achievers’ list.

SEE: 2019 matric results are out! Here are your results

Epworth School’s Maryam Mahomed is on the commendable achievers’ list, which recognises pupils who achieved within the top five percent in five subjects and a rating of 7 in Life Orientation.

Nine pupils in KZN made it onto the commendable achievers’ list overall. The prestigious Hilton College on the city’s doorstep did not have any pupils featuring on either list, after having two last year. Other top schools Treverton College and The Wykeham Collegiate also did not have any pupils feature, showing just how fiercely competitive the top performers’ lists are.

It was another impressive year for the Independent Examinations Board, which saw a 98,82% pass rate nationally down from 2018’s 98,92%.

A total of 2 144 pupils took the IEB exams across 37 participating schools in the province.

Michaelhouse school friends Luke van Rooyen and Finn Elliot, both 18, placed on the outstanding achievers’ list, scoring eight and seven As respectively. “Luke and I both worked closely together and we did similar subjects. I am very happy with my results and it’s a great way to end my holidays,” Elliot said.

Both plan to study actuarial science. “I am very excited,” Van Rooyen said. “I was committed to working hard these past five years. It was helpful having a clever friend [Elliot] studying with me.”

Joining them was Sarah Burnett (18) from St John’s DSG, who got seven As. “I am excited. I knew I would have done well at St John’s, but it’s so great to know I performed well among pupils in the entire country.”

Matric results | 98.8% of pupils pass 2019 IEB exams

Burnett said she had to sacrifice a lot of extracurricular activities to focus on her studies, but kept doing Scouts.

She plans to study engineering and environmental geography at the University of Pretoria.

Joshua Benadie (18), of Grace College, was also among the top pupils, and got seven As. “I feel really excited because I started doubting myself since I finished exams.”

He said pacing himself properly during the exam period was the key to his success. He will study actuarial science at University of Stellenbosch this year.

Rounding up the list of outstanding achievers from Midlands schools was Maya Fleischer, of St Anne’s Diocesan College, who continued her family’s tradition of making the outstanding achievers’ list after her twin brothers, Bongi and Antony, did so for Michaelhouse last year.

Maya scored seven As, and spoke to The Witness while on holiday in France. “I tried to work consistently and manage my time well,” she said, adding that her teachers supported and prepared her. She will study mechatronics engineering at the University of Cape Town.

Hayden de Kock (18) of Kearsney College, made the outstanding achievers’ list, with eight As. He got 100% for both maths and physics.

“I feel really privileged to have all the opportunities I’ve had. My work started from young, learning a good work ethic from my dad. I put in hard work throughout the year and was consistent.” He wants to study actuarial science at Stellenbosch.

Very tough to excel in IEB schools

Epworth School’s Maryam Mahomed was the only pupil from a Midlands school to make the commendable achievers’ list.“I feel shocked and surprised. I kept my head down and focused on my work,” she said.She is planning on studying either medicine or engineering.

Education analyst Professor Labby Ramrathan was not surprised at yet another solid year for IEB pupils.

“There have not been substantive changes to their curriculum and their teachers are well-prepared. So the pass rate has more or less stabilised.”

Ramrathan believed the no shows of top schools like Hilton College showed just how tough the competition was among top performers at IEB schools. “Pupils will still do very well but will not feature on these lists. It’s very tough.”

SA's matric 'recognised globally'

The IEB on Monday used the launch of the 2019 Matric results to take a swipe at the “flawed” perception that international school qualifications were superior to the local National Senior Certificate (NSC).

The body said on Monday that the NSC is recognised globally and that a benchmarking test in 2010 which compared the NSC with the UK’s equivalent found it to be “both robust and fit for purposes” of examining.

The IEB said the NSC was recognised in several “top universities” across the world. “When it comes to good education in both independent and state institutions, do not be fooled — ‘Local is lekker’.

“The reality is that worthwhile value-based education is the domain of good teachers who may find one or other curriculum or assessment process helpful in their work.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  ieb matric results

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