100% Matric Pass For Christel House Despite COVID-19 Disruptions

Matric students at Christel House South Africa, a non-profit school in Ottery that serves students from severely impoverished areas on the Cape Flats, celebrated the announcement of their 100% matric pass rate results today, 23.8% more than the national average of 76.2%.

The school also attained a bachelor pass of 80.5% compared to the national average of 36.4% and 27 subject distinctions, quite a remarkable achievement considering their circumstances and challenges they faced in 2020. A 91.3% pass rate in Mathematics and 85% pass rate in physics was achieved.

The top performing matriculant, Zahrah Alias achieved 6 subject distinctions and plans to pursue PPE Humanities: Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Cape Town. Her dream is to become a diplomat and help solve global issues. Upon receiving her results, Zahrah, who was the valedictorian for the Class of 2020 commented, “I feel very proud of myself that I was able to overcome such a challenging year with surprisingly good results. It showed me what I’m capable of during tough times.”

Dale Fredericks, the Head Boy of 2020, received three distinctions and will be studying Film and Television at the University of the Witwatersrand. He thanked Christel House for helping him achieve great results.

Denisha Hansen is the first student from Freedom Park (a small informal community next to the school) to matriculate from Christel House SA and one of the students whose parents were very involved with the school during lockdown. Her mom, Jacqualine Hansen, volunteers her time by helping to clean the school and to assist with a weekly soup kitchen in the community. “I was more stressed than Denisha about the matric results, but I am so excited about her achieving a bachelor pass. I am extremely grateful to Christel House for helping my daughter. It really is more than a school,” said Mrs Hansen.

When lockdown was announced in March 2020, Christel House SA provided its High School students with devices and data to enable online learning and despite disruptions, students only missed two days of schooling for the year.

“We are proud of all of our students. Usually, they have to deal with issues in the communities they come from such as drugs, gangsterism and abuse, but this year was especially difficult. Imagine experiencing a pandemic during your matric year in addition to all of that. However, our students are resilient and still managed to showcase impressive results,” says Dr Ronald Fortune, High School Principal at Christel House SA.

“Our teachers have also proven their immense dedication yet again by working longer hours and putting in the effort, even though they have had their own hardships this year,” adds Dr Fortune.

Christel House SA, based in Ottery, is celebrating its 20-year anniversary this year and is one of eight international Christel House schools across the world, including India, Mexico, America and Jamaica. Students who attend the school come from the poorest communities on the Cape Flats and are successfully admitted to the school based on financial need – the average household income of the child’s family must be less than R1500 per person per month. Students receive free education including daily transport to the school, meals, guidance counselling and healthcare. The school prides itself on embedding a strong character-based and career-focused programme that has been instrumental in achieving its mission of breaking the cycle of poverty.

Once students matriculate, they continue to receive stipends and structured support through the schools award-winning College & Careers programme.  The Class of 2020 will join Christel House’s graduate programme and the school will continue to provide close support to help them complete their tertiary education and land their first jobs.

Christel House will be welcoming 60 new Grade RR learners to the school for the first time in *June/ July 2021 and is appealing to the public to support their #GiveaHandUp campaign. The campaign will raise funds for essential school supplies, including school shoes, uniforms, a backpack, learning materials and educational toys, as well as fortified porridge that contains essential nutrients for growing children. For as little as R150, R500 or R1200 (the price of a full starter kit, a Grade RR student will receive a hand up on their 19-year learning journey with us.

Christel House is a registered non-profit organisation and a 100% of all donations benefit Christel House’s projects and programs. All South African donors are eligible to receive a tax-deductible 18A certificate and companies can receive B-BBEE points for their contributions as a 100% of Christel House’s beneficiaries are Black. 

* There is a possibility that the new Grade RR’s may only start as Grade R’s in 2022, subject to final approval by the Western Cape Education Department.

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