Saica winter programmes for bright pupils
“WHEN it comes to scarceskill professions like medicine, engineering, actuarial science and chartered accountancy, the pool of learners who are academically talented enough to apply is a small one.
“The percentage of those learners who are black or coloured is even smaller.”
These were the words of Gugu Makhanya, a senior executive at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) ahead of the opening of the winter programmes for matric pupils.
More than 3 000 pupils who have shown an aptitude for mathematics will soon spend their time exercising their brains at development camps held by Saica around the country.
Makhanya yesterday said Saica sees itself as a key stakeholder of the country, one with a vested interest in improving the quality of education, especially in mathematics.
Saica has been offering extra mathematics lessons for the past 15 years to financially disadvantaged Grade 12 pupils.
Makhanya has collaborated with key partners in the provincial departments of education, members of the accounting profession, representatives from universities and institutions such as the Financial Services Board as well as various other professions.
“Saica’s aim is to help improve learner proficiency in subjects like mathematics and science in order to improve the quality of pass rates in the country”, Makhanya highlighted.
“We also found that due to the mock exams learners who participate in the camps have better matric results at the end of exams later in the year.”
Makhanya also stated that the evidence was overwhelming when looking at the matric results of the past year.
“Records reveal that camp attendees are often at the top of the matric results at the end of the year.”
Mmaphuthi Makgabo, who was one of the pupils who attended the Saica winter programmes told The Star that he had learnt about the programme when his former teacher gave him forms to apply because he’d been getting great results.
“All the workshops that Saica had last year really helped me, as I received seven distinctions, one for each of my subjects, and I also got invited to the Gauteng provincial matric awards,” he said.
He added that the material Saica provided them with was especially helpful and he was also able to take it home after the programme had ended.
Makgabo is now a first-year student at the University of Witwatersrand, where he is studying mechanical engineering. He is also a tutor for Grade 10 and matric pupils at his previous school, Ivory Park Secondary School.
Busisiwe Sibiya, who also attended the programme in Mpumalanga Development Camp, achieved six distinctions in her matric finals.
Looking at the results of both Makgabo and Sibiya, Makhanya said they expected similar performance from this year’s intake.
Each camp lasts five to seven days and provides pupils with extra lessons to improve their mathematics, science, accounting and English aptitude. The pupils will also be offered life skills training and career information to help them make wise and appropriate career choices.
Aim is to help improve learner proficiency in mathematics
PROUD ACHIEVERS: Matric pupils attending Saica winter programmes at Thuthuka Development Camp in Joburg.