Top achiever despite tough year

Laila van der Ross was the top matric pupil at Zeekoevlei High.

Last year was a tough one for all pupils, especially the matric class of 2020 who had to work harder and smarter because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When the matric class of 2020 went back to school in June, they had to catch up preparations for the final exam.

This was extremely challenging because they couldn’t depend on each other through study sessions like they did before, said Laila van der Ross, Zeekoevlei High’s top achiever.

“Everybody was on their own and because of the virus and that was new to us.”

Laila was the top achiever in life science, history, English, Afrikaans 1st additional, life orientation and geography and she passed with distinctions in life orientation, history and geography but will rewrite her maths paper later this year because her results weren’t as high as she had hoped. After rewriting she hopes to qualify to get into university to study something in the science field next year.

“This year I will be concentrating on my other passion which is music where I will do small courses but next year, after rewriting I want to go into the field of radiography, diagnostic therapy or medical bioscience. I have a really big love for the science field and I’d like to do any of them,” she said.

Laila said her family as well as school support system helped her tremendously.

“The teachers at Zeekoevlei High School were very involved and hands on. If we needed help, even after school hours with any of our subjects the teachers would offer to help us online, they gave us past papers to work through and did everything in their power to make our lives easier – that really helped me to get where I am today. They helped us grow as a pupil and as a person because they always had our best interests at heart.

Laila was the top achiever in History and Life Science.

Asked what her advice is to pupils who struggle through this difficult time Laila encouraged them to do revision when they get home from school.

“When you get home go over your work again. You don’t know when the schools will be closed again or when the virus will peak again and also ask other learners who matriculated the previous year for their past papers and books – that helped me a lot.”

She also encouraged pupils to stay positive: “School is just something that many people don’t like but this Covid year has taught me that school is more than just education – it’ a place where people come together to help one another and to help each other grow. This was a time where we went through a massive struggle but we went through it together and we will continue to strive for the best despite the challenges. ”