Christel House South Africa, a non-profit school in Ottery with pupils from some of the poorest parts of the Cape Flats, has scored a 100% matric pass rate, with 80% of the matriculants landing university-entrance, or Bachelor’s, passes.
Denisha Hansen is the first pupil from Freedom Park, a small informal settlement next to the school, to matriculate from Christel House, according to school spokeswoman Megan Losper.
Ms Losper said Denisha’s parents had been very involved with the school during lockdown, and her mother, Jacqualine Hansen, volunteered to clean the school and help with weekly soup kitchens in the community.
“I was more stressed than Denisha about the matric results,” said Ms Hanse, “but I am so excited about her achieving a Bachelor pass. I am extremely grateful to Christel House for helping my daughter. It really is more than a school.”
The top performing matriculant, Zahrah Alias, from Manenberg, scored six subject distinctions. She plans to study philosophy, politics and economics at UCT with the hope of becoming a diplomat.
“I feel very proud of myself that I was able to overcome such a challenging year with surprisingly good results. It showed me what I’m capable of during tough times,” she said.
Dale Fredericks, from Delft, the head boy of 2020, scored three distinctions and will be studying film and television at Wits University.
“We are proud of all of our students,” said Christel House’s high school principal, Dr Ronald Fortune. “Usually, they have to deal with issues in the communities they come from such as drugs, gangsterism and abuse, but this year was especially difficult. Imagine experiencing a pandemic during your matric year in addition to all of that. However, our students are resilient and still managed to showcase impressive results.”