By ROD AMNER
The GADRA Matric School’s (GMS) 265-strong class of 2023 is the largest in its 29-year-old history. The GMS was unable to accept hundreds of other young people who applied.
The GMS held its opening assembly at a packed Trinity Church in Makhanda on 6 February. The school had produced another set of outstanding results in 2022. Of the record number of 237 students enrolled last year, 197 (83%) obtained Bachelor-level passes, 37 obtained Diploma passes, and two obtained Higher Certificate passes.
Nearly a third of last year’s students (at least 75) are enrolling at Rhodes University this week. Many others have been accepted to study at other universities and higher education institutions.
Speaking at the assembly, GMS Principal Timothy Hacksley said “you all have different goals, converting a diploma pass into a bachelor pass, converting a fail into a matric, increasing low tertiary admission points, or successfully passing your Rhodes credits if you’re a bridging student.”
“Whatever your goals, you are given the opportunities and resources to achieve them this year”, said Hacksley.
“Whatever your circumstances and challenges, I can tell you of previous students at the Matric School who have faced similar challenges and overcome them. Your challenges might be psychological, socio-economic, domestic, personal, COVID-related, or circumstantial, and your challenges are real. But your challenges, whatever they are and however complex they are, are there for you to overcome,” Hacksley said.
“Nine months from now, you will be writing your NSC final exams. What you do in the roughly 250 intervening days between now and then will determine not just the success of those exams but will have a huge impact on the trajectory of the rest of your lives and on the financial well-being of yourselves and your family (present and future),” he said.
GADRA Education Manager Dr Ashley Westaway reminded students that most had suffered more COVID teaching and learning losses between grades 10 and 12 than any previous cohort.
“During that time, many disciplines were lost, essential academic disciplines – those of attending school regularly, making sure you are alert during class, taking notes during class and doing homework,” Westaway said.
This year at GMS, the learners would be able to successfully upgrade their marks, improve their access to university and hone the disciplines that would help them succeed in tertiary education.
Westaway also reminded parents, guardians and family members of the vital role they play in supporting students on their educational journey.
The assembly culminated with the introduction of the seven guardians and family members who volunteered to serve on the GMS School Governing Body for 2023.