Durban – A KwaZulu-Natal school for deaf pupils has achieved a 100% pass rate for the fifth year in a row.
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The Kwathintwa Deaf School, south of Durban, also excelled with the quality of the passes, with all of its pupils managing at least one distinction, the school said in a statement.
The school's star pupil, Sthembiso Thabethe from Bhobhonono in Cato Ridge, scooped three A's.
When handing over the results to Thabethe, Principal Dr Mavis Naidoo said that the school's 2015 results were "phenomenal".
"For deaf learners to achieve such commendable results is no easy task. I firmly believe that this proves that all students have the potential to succeed if they have access to quality education in a 'learning enriched school'.
"The key is effective leadership, committed teachers who believe in their students and most of all... a school that has a shared commitment to high expectations for its learners. To this end, the school community needs to be thanked."
Speaking on behalf of Sthembiso, his ecstatic uncle Nkosingiphile Thabethe said the family was "over the moon".
"This has not been an easy journey for the child, especially because he lost both his parents at a very young age. In addition he had a history of lengthy hospitalisation impacting on his academic progress. But his resilience and focus was undeterred. As a family we will continue to support his goal in becoming a teacher."
Naidoo added that the teachers at her school worked "excessively hard" for pupils such as Sthembiso.
"If a normal school teacher works at 200%, our teachers work at 700%. They are extremely committed people who do their best to ensure the mainstream syllabus is carefully taught to our pupils," she told News24.
When asked whether they expected to make it six in a row in 2016, Naidoo said: "Most certainly. We cannot go back now. The only challenge we have is getting our kids to university. There are very few that cater for the deaf. We hope this will change in the future."