Give them a Sec­ond Chance

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ILANIT CHERNICK

PUPILS from the ORT SA Math­e­mat­ics and Sci­ence Sec­ond Chance Pro­gramme have ex­celled in their 2016 ma­tric ex­ams. Last year, 56 pupils from the pro­gramme re-wrote ma­tric maths and phys­i­cal sci­ence.

ORT SA mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Mar­celle Ravid said the per­for­mance of the pupils was ex­cel­lent. “We saw a 95 per­cent pass rate in math­e­mat­ics and a 94 per­cent pass rate in phys­i­cal sci­ence.

“This is higher than the na­tional pass rate and pro­vin­cial pass rate.”

Ravid ex­plained that the pro­gramme was con­cep­tu­alised in 2015 after the high fail­ure rate in key sub­jects such as maths and sci­ence.

“The ob­jec­tive of the pro­gramme is to help ma­tric­u­lants from dis­ad­van­taged com­mu­ni­ties who have failed to meet en­try re­quire­ments into ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions, ow­ing to ei­ther fail­ing or not achiev­ing an ex­emp­tion in th­ese sub­jects,” she said.

Some of the pupils who failed th­ese sub­jects out­right in 2015, who ob­tained be­tween zero and 29 per­cent, were able to im­prove their re­sults and achieved be­tween 50 and 59 per­cent. Oth­ers who had at­tained be­tween 30 and 39 per­cent im­proved to be­tween 60 and 69 per­cent.

Thapelo Thage, 18, from Alexan­dra, said he had im­proved his marks by 50 per­cent and had now ap­plied to study civil en­gi­neer­ing.

“My life has changed ever since. I wish ORT SA could do even more for un­der­priv­i­leged pupils in the town­ships,” he said.

An­other pupil, 19-year-old Mphahlele Phak­isho from Alexan­dra, said her life had changed dra­mat­i­cally “from the mo­ment I en­tered the Sec­ond Chance class­room door”.

“I at­tended ev­ery sin­gle class and did my work very well, and I fi­nally made it. Thank you to my teach­ers for the hard work – you re­ally changed my life,” she said.

Phak­isho said she’d im­proved her phys­i­cal sci­ence mark from 43 per­cent to 66 per­cent. She has ap­plied to do an­a­lyt­i­cal chem­istry at the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria.

Nine can­di­dates im­proved their maths marks by more than 80 per­cent, while 10 can­di­dates also im­proved their sci­ence re­sults by more than 80 per­cent. Four can­di­dates im­proved both sub­jects by more than 80 per­cent.

The head of the Teacher Em­pow­er­ment De­part­ment at ORT SA, Mpho Matlala, said he was thrilled with the im­prove­ment of re­sults “and the pos­si­bil­i­ties now open to th­ese young­sters”.

“We are aim­ing for even bet­ter re­sults for the 2017 co­hort.”

The Sec­ond Chance pro­gramme is funded by Bid­vest and in­cludes work readi­ness and com­puter cour­ses. ORT SA is a non-profit ed­u­ca­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion. Prospec­tive ap­pli­cants can con­tact Ravid at 084 355 0826 or 011 728 7154.

‘Thank you to my teach­ers – you changed my life’

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