- 85 candidates entered to write their final examinations at Elswood High School in Elsies River.
- 74 wrote, while 11 did not complete. Despite this, the school managed to achieve a pass rate of 83.8% and a bachelor's pass increase of 28.4%.
- Principal Marlon Kiewiet said the school achieved 59% last year, saying the increase was a huge achievement for the Elsies River community.
There were tears of joy and gleeful smiles as Grade 12s from Elswood High School in Elsies River, Cape Town received their results after a difficult year.
A total of 85 candidates entered to write their final examinations at the school - 74 wrote, while 11 did not complete.
The school managed to achieve a pass rate of 83.8% and a bachelor's pass increase of 28.4%.
Principal Marlon Kiewiet said last year they achieved a 59% pass rate.
For the Elsies River community this is a huge achievement, taking into consideration the challenges that our learners faced during Covid-19. Many of our learners were affected with Covid-19, they have lost siblings and [the pandemic] affected them personally.
"As a school we had to put plans in place that despite all these challenges, we achieved the target set for the school."
Kiewiet was employed as principal last year, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
'I didn't have a phone'
"It was a very challenging year; I had to quickly adapt to the changes. We had to quickly adapt in order to get results," he said.
But despite the uncertainty gripping the school, students persevered. Like Wesley Swartz, who told News24 he struggled to cope with the uncertainty.
"It was very difficult because I didn't have a phone and I couldn't contact anyone to ask what we were supposed to do. And I didn't have a computer," he said.
Swartz told a teacher at the school about the challenges he faced, prompting her to buy him a new phone.
Elswood High School matriculant Wesley Swartz.News24 PHOTO: Marvin Charles/News24
"I had to find a way to contact the school. It was very tough; I had to run around for six months. The teachers were always motivating. It helped me a lot because I could get in touch with friends so that I can catch up with the work," he said.
Swartz achieved four distinctions and plans to study law.
Claudia Damons had to cope with the dual roles of being a matric pupil and a mother.
"My grandparents sent me to Huis Vredelus, a juvenile centre, because I was naughty. I fell pregnant and while I was at Huis Vredelus I gave birth and my grandma sent me to Elswood," she said.
Elswood High School matriculant Claudia Damon.News24 PHOTO: Marvin Charles/News24
"I wanted to finish school - I received a bachelor's pass. I have a three-year-old boy, and this is for a better future for us."
Damons said she plans on studying towards being a social worker.
Alex-zandra Kramm said she couldn't be happier about her results.
"I phoned my mom. I started screaming and said I'm going to university - pack my bags now!
"It was very tough last year, but judging by the results, we have proven that with consistency that we can do anything," she said.
Elswood High School matriculant Alex-Zandre Kramm.News24 PHOTO: Marvin Charles/News24
Brackenfell High School, which was at the centre of racism allegations and protests last year, managed to achieve a 99.6% pass rate.
Western Cape Education Department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said: "Brackenfell High School is a well-performing school where quality teaching and learning takes place. While the disruptions last year may have affected the school in some ways, it did not affect the commitment the teachers had to continue to provide quality education."