The class of 2019’s top performer, Madelein Dippenaar, said she was “extremely shocked” when she heard she had topped the list in the 2019 National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.
“I was extremely shocked, I never thought it would be possible to be quite honest and when I got the call, it was extremely unexpected – I never thought I would be in the top 10 nationally or maybe provincially,” she told the media following the official announcement.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the class of 2019 had achieved an 81.3% pass rate – an increase from the 78.2% of 2018.
The bubbly pupil of Paarl Gimnasium High School in the Western Cape said she had always been a top academic performer.
“I have been top of my class since Grade 8. I have taken two extra subjects since Grade 10 which is German second additional language as well as visual arts at our local art school in Paarl, so I think I have been a really consistent student throughout the years,” Dippenaar said.
The Western Cape ranked fourth with an 82.3% pass rate.
In addition, the province bagged all the top performers in the quintile 5 category.
To add to this achievement, it also had the highest number of distinctions in the country, while Gauteng received the highest number of Bachelor’s passes.
The middle child of three siblings, who originally hails from the Northern Cape, Dippenaar plans to study for a BSc in biotechnology at Stellenbosch University this year.