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CT matrics pass in gang-riddled areas

Education officials say many matrics in gang-riddled areas passed despite the violence.

Metro South Education District Chief Glen van Harte says it was a challange to raise the pass rate in Mitchells Plain, Manenberg and other problematic suburbs. Picture: Renee de Villiers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape education officials say many matrics in gang-riddled areas passed their final exams because they put their heads down and focused.

Metro South Education District Chief Glen van Harte says increasing the pass rate in Mitchells Plain, Manenberg and other problematic suburbs was challenging.

He says many grade 12s had a lot to deal with, but they were motivated to get their senior certificates.

"We've had a severe infestation of gangs. In some of our schools, gangsters were fighting on the premises."

KHAYELITSHA MATRICS

Several Khayelitsha matriculants say they are over the moon they passed their final exams and have the possibility of studying further.

Eight out of the 135 grade 12s at the Intlanganiso Secondary School, however, did not make the grade and will have a second chance to write supplementary exams.

Some matric girls told Eyewitness News they were nervous ahead of the results being released on Tuesday.

"We are superstars! I didn't even expect one distinction, but I got two and I got a Bachelors pass. I am so excited."

VALHALLA PARK TOP ACHIEVER

At the same time, a top achiever at a troubled Valhalla Park school says he will have to put his dream of becoming a journalist on hold to help feed his family.

Beauvallon Secondary School matriculant Idrees Etalla received top marks at his school on Tuesday.

The school, which is fighting closure, received a 42 percent pass rate.

Etalla left school after fathering a child, but returned to complete his studies.

But the 19-year-old says furthering his education is not on the cards as he needs to provide for his child.

"I left school for six months in grade 11. When I came back I studied extra hard because I believe in the words of Nelson Mandela that education is the world's most powerful weapon against poverty and I don't want my child to grow up in the environment I grew up in."

MATRIC SUICIDE RUMOURS

Police in KwaZulu-Natal have denied reports that five matriculants committed suicide after failing.

Rumours that the pupils were found hanged in Gandhi Park in Phoenix began circulating after the results were released nationally.

The rumours were circulated on Facebook and Blackberry Messenger on Tuesday, resulting in a massive outpouring of grief.

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