THERE was joy and ululating at the matric awards in the Western Cape yesterday.

Gang-ridden Masibambisane High School in Delft was named the most improved school in mathematics. The school also produced Mzansi’s top Xhosa pupil, Noluntu Tamsanqa.

“I’m very happy to receive this award. I worked hard to prepare for the exams, but I didn’t expect to receive this award,” she said.

Pupils who did well were given laptops and money. Intsebenziswano Senior Secondary School’s top pupil Kamva Goso was in fifth place at the provincial awards.

He told the SunTeam he will study actuarial science at the University of Cape Town.

“To the other pupils coming after me, hard work is key to success.

“I started to prepare for the exams at the same time as everyone else, but I went the extra mile.”

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer said the year was difficult for pupils but she was happy they had pushed through.

She paid tribute to pupils and teachers who worked under difficult circumstances, which included the drought, as well as the fires that affected Khayelitsha and Knysna during exams.

“Many matrics lost everything they owned. Some risked their lives to save books and IDs from the fires that burnt their homes.”