Gauteng pupil overcomes dyslexia to get six distinctions in IEB matric exams
David Gosher, 18, of King David High School in Linksfield, Johannesburg, had to overcome dyslexia as he managed to achieve six distinctions in his Independent Examinations Board (IEB) matric results.
“From a young age I came through my entire schooling through remedial schooling. I am dyslexic but I work very hard and to get to my matric I had to work extra hard,” Gosher said.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty in reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language.
Gosher told TimesLIVE that the pandemic and online studying made things difficult and challenging.
“I am not very fond of online learning because it made engaging with teachers much harder,” he explained.
He obtained distinctions in English, mathematical literacy, business studies, dramatic arts, history and life orientation.
Gosher, who will be taking a gap year to concentrate on a youth movement, said he procrastinated a lot, which he had to fight to overcome.
During his gap year, Gosher will be touring Israel, where he says he will be learning more about Jewish culture and leadership. After the gap year, he wants to study towards a law degree.
Not being able to talk and interact with their schoolmates was stressful for the Buckland triplets at Redhill School, who between them achieved 24 distinctions — nine each for Ivan and Anna, and six for Jessica.
The Redhill triplets will all be studying towards degrees in social sciences, but will major in different subjects.
“We missed out on having fun with friends, but concentrated more on academic studies which was not cool,” the triplets said.
Another top achiever is Daniel Class, who obtained nine distinctions — in English, Afrikaans, Hebrew, mathematics, accounting, life sciences, physical sciences, life orientation and advanced programme mathematics.
The King David High School Linksfield head boy and karate enthusiast, Class said his biggest challenge was not being able to raise his hand and engage his teachers on subjects.
“I'm a learner who always raises his hand in class, so that needed a little adjustment,” he said. However, he praised his teachers for ensuring that he was ready for his exams.
Class received an 95% aggregate. He told TimesLIVE that he managed his stress by running and doing karate.
Another King David pupil, Joshua Pimstein, also received nine distinctions — in English, Afrikaans, Hebrew, mathematics, accounting, music, physical sciences, life orientation and advanced programme mathematics.
The vice-head boy and captain of the first rugby team, Pimstein said the biggest challenge was not so much academically but the fact that he could not lead his rugby team on to the field in his final year of high school.
Pimstein, who also does some singing and acting, is head of the Judaic committee, and will be studying business or actuarial science.
The IEB has recorded a 98.07% matric pass rate for 2020, a slight drop compared to last year's 98.82%. The IEB exam results were released at midnight.
Umalusi‚ the examination standardisation body‚ monitored the marking and results and declared the results to be fair and valid‚ according to a statement put out by the IEB
IEB CEO Anne Oberholzer said 88.42% of the cohort achieved entry to degree study (compared to 89.51% in 2019), 8.14% qualified for entry to diploma study (compared to 7.91% in 2019) and 1.51% achieved entry for study at the higher certificate level (compared to 1.4% in 2019).
Oberholzer said 12,024 full-time and 1,139 part-time candidates from 233 examination centres writing in 261 venues across Southern Africa wrote the IEB National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations. These included pupils from Namibia (183), Mozambique (33) and Eswatini (299).
This is an increase from 2019, when there were 11,818 full-time candidates and 779 part-time candidates.
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