Pretoria - Executive Mayor of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality Gwen Ramokgopa has honoured the 40 top matriculants in the city who achieved distinctions in more than six subjects, and 39 schools for their excellent performance in last years matric examinations.
At an event in Pretoria on Thursday, the mayor thanked the pupils, teachers and parents for ensuring the city produced excellent matric results. A total of 39 schools achieved a 100 percent pass rate, up from the 27 schools in 2007.
One of the winners, Otsile Phiri said he had found the 2008 matric examinations which were based on the new national Curriculum Statement, difficult and challenging.
"The standard was high. The new curriculum requires more work and a lot of thinking from learners," Otsile Phiri who achieved distinctions in all the subjects told BuaNews.
Otsile, who matriculated from Lyttleton Manor High School, further said the curriculum equipped pupils with a quality education.
The schools received awards in the following categories: achieving a 100 percent pass rate, most improved schools, top achievers in the district, overall top achiever in the city for 2008 and best school in the city for 2008.
Among the winning pupils was, Nannette du Preez from Hoerskool Tuine, who was awarded as the top Mathematics and Accounting student. She attributed her success to studying hard and trying her best.
Nanette, who is now studying Bcom Accounting at the University of Pretoria, has already received a contract from Price Waterhouse Coopers where she will work after completing her studies.
Rudzani Malumedzha from Soshanguve Technical High School, who was among the top achievers in technical subjects, told BuaNews that being in a "township school" was not an excuse for failing the exams.
"It's all about commitment and hard work. Start working now and don't wait until the last minute because you will never make it, do internet research and practice maths everyday and most importantly, know what you want in life and plan on how you are going to achieve your goals."
Rudzani hopes to study civil engineering at the Tshwane University of Technology.
A former Somafco High School pupil, Veronica Mgidi, agreed, saying that despite schools being under resourced, learners should learn to overcome the obstacles and concentrate on their strengths.
Principal of the Afrikaans Hoer Meisie Skool, whose school was named the best in the city for the second time in a row, Marna Jordaan attributed the school's success to a well managed and organised school with dedicated learners and teachers.
"The learners are goal driven, dream and will do anything to achieve that dream," Ms Jordaan said.
Mayor Ramokgopa said she encouraged learners to focus on their goals and abilities, adding that they were the leaders of tomorrow.