Top Achievers 2023

Gauteng schools achieved a pass rate of 85.4% and our local schools matric learners of 2023 produced excellent results

Luca Clark at Westcliff Four Seasons Hotel.

The world is your oyster with a hospitality qualification

A hospitality management qualification provides graduates with set of transferable skills, including those in high demand in sectors outside of hospitality.

The world is truly your oyster if you have an international hospitality accreditation in hand.
Hospitality management skills are transferable and thus graduates can switch between industries and take on new opportunities as their life’s journey progresses.
When you hear the word “hospitality”, the first thing that comes to mind is establishments such as hotels, resorts and restaurants, and while those businesses exist within the hospitality world, in reality, the industry is extensive, spanning countless careers across a large number of companies.
A good hospitality qualification not only prepares students for the hospitality industry but provides them with a wide range of service-oriented skills and trains them to think, plan and execute with the guest and consumer in mind.
Hospitality management degrees provide graduates with a strong set of transferable skills, including those in high demand in sectors outside of traditional hospitality roles, including management consulting, sports management, the financial sector and eCommerce.
Luca Clark (22) from Melrose North, completed his three-year Bachelor of Hotel Management (BOHM).
“My professional ambition is rooted in active participation in the events sector, with a long-term vision of launching a prominent events company dedicated to orchestrating large-scale music festivals,” says Clark.
Soon-to-be graduate Zanelda Kok from Germiston plans to work internationally and dreams of owning her own hotel or small establishment.
Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experience was crucial in developing her skill set.
“The industry is continuously growing, and I believe that with hard work, my future is bright,” she says.
Travel and tourism are two of the fastest-growing industries in the world today.
The State of Hospitality 2022 believes hospitality operations will soon surpass pre-Covid-19 levels to the value of $502.7b.
By 2025, growth is forecast to reach $846b in total spending within the travel and tourism industry.


Before deciding which university to attend, consider the institutions location in relation to your residence and its accessibility.

Choose the right university for you

Conduct thorough research, visit campuses if possible, and seek advice from academic advisors or current students.

Selecting a university is a pivotal decision and in Gauteng, a diverse range of institutions offer various programmes, making the choice a crucial one.
Remember, the right choice will set the stage for a successful and fulfilling educational experience.
Consider the university’s location in relation to your residence and its accessibility.
Gauteng has several renowned institutions in Pretoria and Johannesburg. Proximity can significantly impact daily commuting and living expenses.
Evaluate the academic programmes offered and ensure they align with your academic interests and career aspirations. Research the reputation of specific faculties or departments in the industries they represent.
Verify that the university is accredited by the South African government and recognised internationally.
Additionally, refer to reputable ranking systems for insights into the institution’s global standing.

Costs and financial aid
Understand the full cost of attending your preferred university, including tuition fees, accommodation and other expenses.
Investigate available scholarships, bursaries and financial aid options offered by the university.
Examine the campus infrastructure, including libraries, laboratories, sports facilities and student support services. Adequate resources enhance the overall learning experience.
Participation in clubs, societies and sports can enrich your university experience thus consider the availability of extracurricular activities that meet your interests.
Research the prevailing culture on campus and look for an environment that fosters inclusivity, diversity and a sense of community. Connect with current students or alumni for firsthand insights.
Investigate the university’s track record in terms of graduate employability. A strong alumni network can provide valuable connections and opportunities post-graduation.
Explore on-campus and off-campus housing options and ensure to look at safety, affordability and proximity to campus.


Your academic plan must detail your study locations such as the library.

Master these logistics as student to ensure career success

One of the biggest culture shocks new students experience is realising they are free to make their own choices every day.

Thousands of matriculants will step onto university campuses over the coming weeks, ready to take on the next phase of their lives.
This milestone marks their entry into.
The years ahead will include highs and lows and these can be managed if young people know which logistics and changes they need to master.
“For the most part, you can’t manage what life throws your way. What you can influence, however, is the skills and resilience you build to enable you to steadfastly work towards success, while also being better equipped to handle the curveballs life throws your way,” said Peter Kriel, general manager at The Independent Institute of Education.
Kriel said one of the biggest culture shocks new students will experience is the realisation that they are free to make their own choices.
“While at school, students were used to teachers’ guidance, influence and disciplining to get things done. At higher education level, it’s on you to know where you need to be and what you need to do. This requires discipline and taking responsibility for your destiny,” he said.
Kriel advised the following:
• Environmental logistics
Take advantage of the orientation programmes and attend the sessions where they familiarise you with the campus.
Join a sport or culture club. Studying is about more than academics. If you immerse yourself in all that your institution offers by being part of healthy organised activities, your experience will be greatly enhanced.
Make sure you have your academic plans outlined and focus on your class schedule, forms of travel to and from class, study locations such as the library and understand how your diary relates to your physical environment.

Remember studying is about more than academics. Join a culture club and immerse yourself in all that your institution offers by being part of healthy organised activities.

This will allow you to outline your plan for each day’s class attendance, study times and where this studying will be done.
Deadlines! Diarise these as soon as you receive them. Include dates for exams, assignment submissions and presentations. It is your responsibility to know what you need to be ready for and by when.
• Support logistics
The leap between school and higher education is significant – academically and emotionally. Some institutions have a variety of accessible support structures in place to assist and support their students. Find out as soon as possible what support structures your institution has available, and how to access them.

Immerse yourself in all that your institution offers by joining a sports activity.

• Mindset logistics
The most important learning to master, apart from the actual academic demands of your qualification, is the understanding that your study years don’t stand apart from your subsequent career, but are in fact part of your entry into your career.
Upon qualifying, you will need to lean on your achievements during your years as a student to showcase that you are fit for a position.

• Balancing work-play logistics
A great social life is a large and important part of the higher education experience, but it’s good to always stay in control of what’s going on. Have fun, but also understand that discipline is freedom.

Studies found that learners with higher levels of mental distress are more likely to experience impaired cognitive functioning.

Health hacks to achieve academic goals

During exam times it is crucial for parents to monitor and support their child’s behaviour, study routines and coping mechanisms. This can play a vital role in creating the right environment for them to achieve the best results.

The latest Unicef report states that 73% of children and youth have expressed the need for mental health support in the past year.
Surprisingly, only 38% actively sought help.
Studies have found that learners with higher levels of mental distress are more likely to experience significantly impaired cognitive functioning, and poor academic performance and be at a higher risk of substance abuse, depression and anxiety disorders.

The health hacks below can help your child achieve their academic goals and ‘ace’ exam season.

Humans are creatures of habit, and we often find comfort in routine.
Setting structured daily patterns of activity can provide stability and reduce feelings of being overwhelmed.
Getting regular, quality sleep, eating balanced meals, and taking dedicated study breaks all help to create a sense of normalcy and control, which significantly alleviates stress.

Food is a fabulous thing. It can lift your mood, give you comfort and help boost your memory.
Depending on what you eat, it can also leave you feeling lethargic and cause energy spikes and crashes.
During exams, it’s important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoid too much junk food.
It’s also important to be careful with energy drinks. Having too many can make it more difficult to concentrate.

Stress can impact our immune systems, which opens the door to common colds and illnesses.
If you need help supporting your child’s mental and physical well-being, telehealth apps such Eagle Intelligent Health are a wonderful tool to access skilled general practitioners, without having to block off a chunk of your day and wait in a doctor’s office for an appointment.

As parents, it is common to fall into the trap of thinking that every moment not spent in front of a book is time wasted.
Not true. Regular physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters.
It also helps boost the immune system. Studies have shown that learners who engage in regular physical activity tend to perform better academically.

Teaching your child simple relaxation techniques like meditation or mindfulness exercises can go a long way toward reducing their stress levels.
They also effectively improve focus and help children develop a mental equilibrium. Fortunately, meditation and mindfulness apps are readily available at the touch of a button.

Practical tips for parents and children during exam season

Occupational therapist Nawaal Schroeder urged matric learners to create a balance between daily activities and academics to enable them to manage the stress that comes with exams.
Implementing these tips will ensure the exam season is a partly stress-free experience for parents and matriculants.

Matriculants and parents are prone to feeling overwhelmed or burnt out during exam season.
One of the biggest causes of this is not managing the time given to studying effectively, but also not accommodating for time spent away from studying.
“During the exams, we commonly find learners and their parents only focus on studying and academic-related activities and this is quite normal,” says Nawaal Schroeder, an occupational therapist in Alberton.
“Something we do not take into consideration in terms of priority is consciously making time for the other activities we typically carry out within our daily lives but also making time specifically for ourselves.
“By creating a workable balance, we are better able to manage the stress that comes with exams and we are also able to fill our own energy reserves.
“Aside from simply managing our time and implementing effective study techniques, taking care of your mental and physical health during this stressful time is important not only for learners but their parents,” says Schroeder.
“The best way to achieve this is by implementing practical and realistic tools.”

Time management is a skill that not only helps us to accommodate for studies but also helps us to effectively manage the rest of our time during exam season.
It may be difficult to plan right down to the last minute of every day, but it is important to have a set time for things such as homework and studying to ensure that there are no other distractions or interruptions during this time.
Having time dedicated specifically to studies during the week and weekend, allows you to make time for yourself as well.

This involves managing your stress on the day of the exam. This is important because high stress levels hurt your ability to concentrate, think logically and problem-solve during the exam. Some things you can do to manage your stress include paced, deep breathing; finding a quiet space to stay focused and calm; and listening to some calming and relaxing music.
Ensuring that you get enough rest the night before is also important, but challenging or pushing negative thoughts away is also vital.

The most important thing to ensure is that you are well-rested. This is not only vital for energy levels, but a well-rested mind enables us to deal with stress more effectively.
You need to ensure that you are not disrupting your sleep pattern too much, but also that you are getting enough sleep.
You also need to ensure that you are getting enough breaks in between studying. The best interval between studying and breaks is a 15-minute break for every hour you study. Longer breaks can include taking a nap, catching up on a book, spending some time with family or friends, or getting in some time for self-care.
Another important part of managing your energy levels is ensuring you are eating a healthy and balanced diet. You may be tempted to drink large amounts of coffee or energy drinks or to have a few sugary goods to snack on but this will have a negative effect on your energy levels.
You need to make sure you are getting enough hydration by drinking water and that you are getting enough nutrients to your body through a balanced diet. Overloading your body with sugar and caffeine will cause your energy levels to dip later in the day, which will make it more difficult to concentrate while studying.
Things may get difficult to manage, and when this happens, you need someone to support you. This can be a parent, sibling, teacher, or friend.

As mentioned above, time management forms an important part of limiting distractions while studying. Before sitting down to study, ensure that you have completed any homework due as this may be a distraction as well. Make sure that you prepare or collect anything that you may need while studying, this includes water, snacks, or any study materials. Make sure that you are in a private and quiet place, and that your phone is set to ‘do not disturb.’.

After the exam is over, one thing that you should avoid doing is criticising yourself. Instead, take some time to rest and then go through the paper and make note of things you have done correctly and the things on which you could improve. Take it as an opportunity to celebrate the good and improve on areas as needed.

Study techniques may include visual aids, recordings, creating flashcards, or even creating a study group. The important aspect of this is finding something that is effective for you and not simply going on the say-so of others. You will need to try different techniques to see which one works for you.

Practical tools that may aid parents in dealing with their own stress and helping learners cope and perform effectively are:

Take time to discuss what mutual expectations around results look like and set realistic and workable goals.

When looking at what is expected in the home, if your children usually have chores that they manage, look at what can be negotiated until exam season is over. This is not an excuse for them not to take responsibility but lessens the load for them.
An important aspect that should be included in this discussion is the expectation of managing their mental and physical well-being. Although children are old enough to manage themselves, parents should still monitor this. This can include getting sleep and rest, getting enough study time in, and ensuring they make the best of that time.

Parents may not be aware of it, but kids are very perceptive to the emotions of their parents. Parents also need to ensure that they manage their own stress and frustration in a healthy way. This could include things such as self-care, taking time to relax, or spending time with your family, or other adults in your social circle.
It is important to ensure that you have some balance, and if you need support, reach out to someone you trust for advice or motivation.

Study techniques may include visual aids, recordings, creating flashcards, or even creating a study group. The important aspect of this is finding something that is effective for you and not simply going on the say-so of others. You will need to try different techniques to see which one works for you.

During exam season we should focus on providing support and motivation for our kids. Listen to the difficulties they are facing and provide them with meaningful advice and motivation, instead of choosing to highlight and focus on the negatives. Take time to appreciate the progress and effort they put in.

After an exam, take time to ask them about how it went and how they are feeling. Encourage evaluation of the exam and offer guidance and support. Hold a safe space for the conversation, without criticism or judgement.
Caption: Occupational therapist Nawaal Schroeder urged matric learners to create a balance between daily activities and academics to enable them to manage the stress that comes with exams.

After the exam is over, one thing that you should avoid doing is criticising yourself. Instead, take some time to rest and then go through the paper and make note of things you have done correctly and the things on which you could improve. Take it as an opportunity to celebrate the good and improve on areas as needed.

Make sure you identify your academic goals and short, regular breaks whilst studying helps maintain focus and retention.

Study tips for high school learners

Experiment and adapt to suit your personal study style

When it comes to studying as a high school learner, finding what works best for you is crucial.

Experiment and adapt the below study tips to suit your personal study style:

  • Organise your environment and study space. Ensure a clean, clutter-free study area with all necessary materials within reach.
  • List your goals and define what you want to accomplish in each study session.
  • Prioritise your subjects and focus on difficult subjects first while your mind is fresh.
  • Use active learning techniques and engage with the material actively, like summarising, asking questions and making flashcards.
  • Remember to take breaks. Short, regular breaks can help maintain focus and retention.
  • Utilise different resources by combining textbooks, online resources and lectures for a well-rounded understanding.
  • Test yourself on the material to reinforce memory.
  • Stay consistent by implementing and following a routine. This will assist in making study time a routine.

Find the right tutor for your child

Adaptability and a positive rapport between the tutor and your child are crucial for successful tutoring.

Knowing when your child needs a tutor or extra classes depends on their academic performance.
Look for consistent struggles in specific subjects, declining grades and signs of frustration.
Regular communication with teachers can provide valuable insights and consider seeking professional advice if you are uncertain.
To pick the right tutor for your child, identify specific needs first and determine the subject or areas where your child needs assistance.
Ensure the tutor is qualified and knowledgeable in the relevant subject and look for a person with a track record of successful teaching or mentoring.
Match the tutor’s teaching style with your child’s learning preferences before making your decision.
Confirm the tutor’s availability fits your schedule and ensure to check references from previous learners or parents.
Consider a trial session to assess compatibility and effectiveness before appointing a tutor.

Your interests and future career aspirations will help you identify the subjects that are best suited for you.

What to consider before selecting Grade 10 subjects

Choosing Grade 10 subjects is a step towards shaping your professional future.

Choosing subjects for Grade 10 is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your academic journey and future career prospects.
It’s important to approach this choice with careful consideration.

Here are some key factors to keep in mind before making your selection:

  • Future career aspirations. Consider the career path you are interested in and remember certain professions require specific subjects.
  • Identify your strengths and interests and opt for subjects that align with what you enjoy and excel in. This will make studying more engaging and increase the likelihood of achieving good marks.
  • Aim for a well-rounded curriculum, combining subjects from different disciplines such as science, arts and humanities can provide a broader perspective and open up diverse career opportunities.
  • Consider the subjects required for your desired university or college programme and long-term goals. Some institutions have specific subject prerequisites for admission.
  • Seek guidance from school counsellors or teachers as they can provide insights into your academic strengths and educators can offer informed recommendations.
  • Evaluate the workload associated with each subject. Balance is key to avoid overwhelming yourself. Consider how much time you can realistically dedicate to each subject.
  • Consider extracurricular activities you are involved in and ensure that your subject choices allow you to maintain a healthy balance between academics and other pursuits.
  • Although it is important to consider advice from peers, remember that what works for one person may not be the best choice for you. Make decisions based on your own strengths and interests.
  • Determine if there’s room for adjustments in your subject choices in case you change your mind or discover new interests along the way.
    Choosing Grade 10 subjects requires consideration of your interests, strengths, and long-term goals.
Place the backpack as high on the child’s back as possible. The entire loaded backpack should rest between the shoulders and the waist.

Pick the right backpack for school

Back pain from carrying a heavy backpack is common for many school learners. Here is what parents should consider when deciding on a school bag.

Selecting the ideal school bag is crucial for your child’s comfort and health.
Consider a durable backpack with padded straps for comfort, multiple compartments for organisation and reflective elements for safety.

Adjustable shoulder straps that are broad and distribute weight evenly between both shoulders are important.
More padding does not translate to less pain. Both straps should stay even in length and remember non-padded straps can be uncomfortable and dig into your child’s shoulders
A waist belt or chest strap helps redistribute the weight of the backpack more evenly across the body. It anchors the load and keeps the load at waist height.
Multiple compartments also aid in evenly distributing the weight of content throughout the backpack and a padded back can provide increased comfort when the backpack is appropriately fitted and close to the back.
It also protects the children from being poked by sharp objects or edges such as pencils and rulers inside the bag.

Other factors to consider are size and durability.
Don’t buy a big pack to “grow” into. When you sit down with a backpack on, it should not extend higher than your shoulders.
Purchase a child-sized backpack for children who are five to 10 years old.
Older children can use standard-size backpacks.
Additionally, prioritise waterproof and sturdy materials to withstand daily wear and tear.
South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP) advised parents that the weight of the backpack should not exceed 10 to 15% of the child’s body weight.

This equates to as little as three medium-sized books and a lunchbox.

  • Load the backpack so that the largest items are closest to the child’s back so that the weight will be evenly balanced.
    Many backpacks have smaller compartments and pockets for loose items.
    If your school backpack does not have any pockets, put the smaller, loose items in last, away from the child’s back.
  • Place the backpack as high on the child’s back as possible. The entire loaded backpack should rest between the shoulders and the waist, held in place by the waist strap.
    Encourage your child to keep the waist strap buckled whenever they wear the backpack.
    This will also help the child remember to use both shoulder straps. When children use only one strap slung over one shoulder, they are at a higher risk for back injuries.
  • Adjust the shoulder straps so that they fit close without being too tight. Insert a finger between the shoulder strap and the child’s shoulder. If you cannot fit your finger in easily, the shoulder strap is too tight.
    Train your child to bend their knees when picking up the school backpack and then use the leg muscles to help lift it.

SASP encouraged parents to campaign for:

  • The education system to find ways to issue homework is more tech-smart.
  • Lockers or other facilities at schools to allow children to leave their bags in a safe place and carry only what’s necessary for each class.


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