Great Achievement : A school for disabled pupils in Cato Ridge, west of Durban, is a shining beacon; amidst the province’s poor matric performance KwaThintwa School for the Deaf has achieved a 100% pass rate for the fifth consecutive year. The principal Dr Mavis Naidoo says: “We’ve got to have a very strong belief system in our learners. For too long I think in deaf education the hearing people have put ceilings on the learners and we decide what they can and can’t do. But the minute we change our mind-sets and we believe children can achieve then somehow that belief gets transferred to learners.”
Naidoo says credit also goes to the teachers. Many of whom have to learn sign language on the job. Matric pupils at KwaThintwa do the same exams as mainstream schools. Their ability to surpass their peers is down to one thing, believing in themselves. Twenty three-year-old Sthembiso Thabethe, who lost his hearing through illness when he was in grade 4, become KwaThintwa School for the Deaf’s top matric pupil in 2015. His family is ecstatic. Sthembiso’s uncle Nkosingiphile Thabete says “He fought; he fought very hard up until where he is now. What he achieved we didn’t expect.
While the 75.8% pass rate represents a 2.4 percentage point drop from the 2013 pass rate of 78.2%, Motshekga said the bar had been raised to improve the quality of the examination outcome and enhance the quality and standard of Grade 12 graduates.
The top six performing districts are:
- Gauteng West at 92.7%;
- Sedibeng East District at 90.7%;
- Ekurhuleni North at 88.7%;
- West Coast in the Western Cape 88.4%; and
- Overberg in the Western Cape and Johannesburg South both at 88.1%.