Hope Schools has given children from disadvantaged backgrounds across the city a future for the last 10 years and, in 2023, the school guided its first ever group of matriculants over the finish line with a resounding 100% pass rate.
Seven of the pupils secured bachelors passes and three earned acceptances to universities.
One of the pupils, Ntokozo Tyanase said she was honoured to have been part of the first ever Hope Schools matric class because she had the opportunity to be a role model.
She will be completing a degree in computer science and information systems at NMU. One of her classmates will be studying law and another will study mechanical engineering.
She said: “I am proud of my results, and it is a few more steps closer to earning a degree and having a successful career.
“I will miss the community of Hope Schools, the friendships I made, the traditions and values of the school and the opportunities unique to Hope Schools such as the meals provided, sports games, clubs, and other activities.
“To the matric class of 2024, I would like to say that this is a crucial step in your future that will define you. Whatever you learn in class, go back home, and practice it more. Be hungry and stay committed.”
Hope Schools was founded in 2005 to provide support for families from struggling communities with limited access to schooling.
The school tries to foster an environment that remains aware of the deeply unequal backgrounds the children come from and as such all the pupils receive meals, two snacks a day and transport for those in need.
The school started its first ever matric class in 2023 for the pupils who have been with them since they were at Little Sparklers Educare almost 13 years ago.
Despite annual challenges with finances, the school dedicated all its efforts to seeing the eight matrics to the end of their schooling with extra classes in the mornings, afternoons and on the weekends.
The school is incredibly proud of its first ever group of matrics and hopes to build on this success with the groups to follow.
Carol Waddell from Hope Schools said: “We are incredibly proud of the 2023 matric results and excited to know that what the pupils have achieved will enable them to pursue their dreams in higher education.
“The pupils began with us 13 years ago and it’s been an incredible journey for both us and them and we have gotten to know each other well.
“We want to be a school with high academic standards, and this has set the tone for both teachers and pupils as we would love to achieve a good pass mark again in 2024.”
The school said this year it will work on strengthening the academic foundation of the grade 8s and 9s and working towards building a unified school culture, improving the financial stability of the school and further developing the school’s sports programmes.