Pilgrim’s Rest Secondary School maintained its excellent matric pass rate of the past number of years with 93% of its 2019 Grade 12’s passing their exams. This achievement is particularly remarkable as it’s a small school with very limited facilities and serving a community where the unemployment rate far exceeds the national average.
Among the 28 learners who wrote the National Senior Certificate examinations nine obtained Bachelor’s passes. Although the group managed only two distinctions, there was a 100% pass rate in five of the nine subjects offered at the school.
The top leaner was Shila Mnisi, who obtained a distinction in Life Orientation. Mnisi is waiting to hear whether she has been accepted to study pharmacy at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal – her application is still pending.
“Stay focused, study hard and normalise study” Mnisi advised learners. By normalising study she meant that studying should become part of one’s everyday routine, rather than something you quickly fit in between socialising. “I also want to thank my mother and the school for supporting me all the way,” Mnisi said.
The top achiever in 2018, Desiree Thibela, was admitted to study medicine and UKZN last year. She passed her first year and even took a course in Zulu so she can learn to speak the language.
Contributing to the school’s success is that for the duration of the examinations the students live, study and write their exams at the Pilgrim’s Rest Environmental Centre so that they can remain completely focused. Furthermore, Transvaal Gold Mining Estates continued to sponsor two additional teachers at the school.