A dose of healthy competition helped matriculants and friends, Ameerah Fattar and Kyle McKinnon take the top two spots in Fairmount High School’s class of 2016.
Ameerah, the top pupil, earned six distinctions, with overall percentage of 83 percent and right behind her, was Kyle with seven distinctions and 81 percent.
Ameerah, from Fairways, was part of the Go for Gold programme, an education-to-employment public-private initiative established in 1999 by companies in the built environment, the Western Cape Department of Education and civil society, for young people from disadvantaged communities.
“It has been hectic the whole year through because Grade 12 is not a year to play but to work smart, not hard,” said Ameerah.
She said the Go for Gold programme kept her busy at weekends and helped her achieve top marks.
“I have been offered an internship at Murray and Roberts and after that I will weigh up my options, whether I am going to study engineering or not. I noticed that there are a lot of females doing engineering nowadays,” said Ameerah.
If she follows that career path, she will be the only engineer in her family. “I think I may take after my grandfather Ebrahim Karan who was working in the building industry,” she said.
Her mother Maghmouda said while her daughter had produced good results throughout the year, she was still surprised that Ameerah had come out tops.
“There was always competition between her and Kyle. They have been studying together.”
Kyle, who lives in Lotus River, agreed. “Ameerah was my competition,” he said. “It was a healthy competition because she is also my best friend.”
He said he still can’t believe that he passed with seven A’s. “I was always getting two A’s during the year. And Ameerah and I always took turns in first and second position. This time, she beat me.”
Kyle has been accepted to study accounting at Stellenbosch University this year.
He is grateful for some of the people who played an instrumental role in his life last year. “I attended Capitec maths classes, life science classes, Cape Star schools, and all these extra classes boosted my knowledge.
“I also want to thank my father Grant McKinnon, whom I live with.
“When my sister Kylah and I heard about my results, we were both in tears,” said Kyle.
When asked what advice would he give to this year’s Grade 12 pupils, he said: “It’s not all about the finals. You obtain 75 percent of your year mark if you work hard the whole year.”
He said he was looking forward to moving to the Stellenbosch campus in two weeks.
Principal Terrence Klassen said the school did exceptionally well, achieving a 96 percent pass rate. “I am also happy with the calibre of pass, with 29 distinctions overall and there was also an increase in Bachelor’s passes (36). Only five pupils didn’t pass but they are eligible for supplementary exams. We also have a 100 percent pass rate in pure maths and physical science.
“We would like to thank our teachers who are very dedicated and help in our after-school programmes and they sacrifice their family time, holiday time such as Easter and spring when we have extra classes as well.”