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News Room

The Best And Worst Schools In South Africa

Jason Snyman
2018-01-31
At first glance it may appear that South Africa’s education system has failed our youth. We look at the Worst and Best performing schools.
Nine South African schools recorded a shocking 0% matric pass rate at the end of last year. That’s nine schools in which not a single matric student passed. Let’s allow that to sink in a little bit. Last year, international news publication, The Economist, made local headlines when it declared our education system to be among the most grossly incompetent in the world. Though many won’t be too surprised at this, given the pitiable state of pretty much everything else in South Africa, it is no less abhorrent. In the article linked above, The Economist reported that ‘in a league table of education systems drawn up in 2015 by the OECD club of mainly rich countries‚ South Africa ranks 75th out of 76.’ Our children are essentially behind, performing far worse, than those in poorer parts of the continent. The article went on…
“A shocking 27% of pupils who have attended school for six years cannot read‚ compared with 4% in Tanzania and 19% in Zimbabwe. “After five years of school about half cannot work out that 24 divided by three is eight. Only 37% of children starting school go on to pass the matriculation exam; just 4% earn a degree.”
Few countries spend so much money on education to so little effect. Now, we can point the fingers of blame all day long and pin it on the corrupt government or the corrupt South African Democratic Teachers Union, but that isn’t the point of this article. We simply take a look at the best and the worst schools in our country.

The Worst Schools In South Africa

There is, at least, a silver lining here. In 2016, 18 schools recorded a 0% matric pass rate. Last year, we cut that number in half. The majority of those, as has been widely reported, are in KwaZulu Natal. Here are the nine schools which failed so dismally: Bhongolethu Senior Secondary School (Eastern Cape) Isivivane Senior Secondary School (Eastern Cape) Fourways Adult Centre (Gauteng) Thandayiphi JS (KZN) St. Jude College (KZN) St. Martins De Porres Comprehensive (KZN) Idundubala School (KZN) Ngwanya Combined School (KZN) Mohlotlwane Secondary School (Limpopo) Of those nine schools, Bhongolethu, Fourways Adult and St. Jude only had one student writing matric in each. At Isivivane near Queenstown, all 17 students who wrote the matric exams failed. In the aftermath, the Department of Education has considered shutting the 4-employee-strong school down, an idea which has the residents of the nearby Rhodani village up in arms. The department has deemed the school unviable, and will be following up to determine why the school still exists. Other schools which haven’t performed well over the last couple of years include Phakamisa Senior Secondary in Zwide, Thamsanqa Senior Secondary School in Kwazakhele, Thanduxolo Senior Secondary School in KwaNnobuhle and Isibani Academy in Pietermaritzburg. Isibani, for one, has had a matric exam pass rate below 40% for the last six years, joined by 12 others. Sizamiseni High School of the Ilembe District, in 2016, also achieved absolutely nothing with a 0% pass rating. Last year they pulled their socks up, applied some elbow grease… And achieved a magnificently mediocre 12.5% pass rate. The government’s answer is to shut ‘unviable’ schools down, but this is largely just seen as a quick fix. They refuse to take responsibility for their own failures, or provide these schools with appropriate support.  

The Best Schools In South Africa

The National Senior Certificate (NSC) school performance report is indispensable to South African families seeking quality education for their children or themselves. The report contains essential data concerning our schools, and in it you will find a list of those which achieved a 100% pass rate over the last five years. Though this article may have started off rather gloomy, and let’s face it, we have a lot of work to do as a nation, there are many schools still getting the work done. Of course, a decent education very often comes with a hefty price-tag. Most of the best-performing schools are also among the most expensive. This is what we have to do now, in order to ensure our children pass matric. According to data compiled by Star College, the top 11 secondary schools in South Africa have been determined. The results take into account the pass rate, the percentage of bachelor passes, the number of students in the class, the school having an A average and the school having written the NSC examination. From number 11 to number one, here are South Africa’s best schools at the moment:
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11. Rhenish Girls HS (Western Cape)

Students: 135 Pass rate: 100% Bachelors pass: 99% Total Distinctions: 461 A average: 3.415 distinctions per learner  

10. Bishops Diocesan College (Western Cape)

Students: 150 Pass rate: 100% Bachelors pass: 99% Total Distinctions: 516 A average: 3.44 distinctions per learner  

9. Westerford (Western Cape)

Students: 178 Pass rate: 100% Bachelors pass: 99% Total Distinctions: 617 A average: 3.47 distinctions per learner  

8. Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool (Gauteng)

Students: 187 Pass rate: 100% Bachelors pass: 98% Total Distinctions: 682 A average: 3.65 distinctions per learner  

7. Rustenburg Girls (Western Cape)

Students: 171 Pass rate: 100% Bachelors pass: 99% Total Distinctions: 631 A average: 3.69 distinctions per learner  

6. Star College Cape Town (Western Cape)

Students: 22 Pass rate: 100% Bachelors pass: 100% Total Distinctions: 84 A average: 3.82 distinctions per learner  

5. Eden College Durban (KZN)

Students: 35 Pass rate: 100% Bachelors pass: 99% Total Distinctions: 136 A average: 3.88 distinctions per learner  

4. Star College Durban (KZN)

Students: 75 Pass rate: 100% Bachelors pass: 99% Total Distinctions: 295 A average: 3.933 distinctions per learner  

3. Springfield Convent of the Holy Rosary (Western Cape)

Students: 79 Pass rate: 100% Bachelors pass: 100% Total Distinctions: 312 A average: 3.949 distinctions  

2. Inkamana School (KZN)

Students: 93 Pass rate: 100% Bachelors pass: 96% Total Distinctions: 103 A average: 4.12 distinctions per learner  

1. Herschel Girls School (Western Cape)

Students: 93 Pass Rate: 100% Bachelor pass: 100% Total Distinctions: 397 A average: 4.269 distinctions per learner
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