A second Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS) has opened in Cape Town, pushing the total number of these Engen backed schools to 10 across South Africa.
Based at Manzomthomobo Secondary School in Mfuleni, it joins the EMSS based out of CPUT as the second school in the Mother City that offers free supplementary Maths, Science and English tuition to underprivileged grade 10-12 learners.
Representatives from the Western Cape Education Department attended the official launch in Mfuleni on 29 September 2021.
The new EMSS at Manzomthomobo Secondary School caters for 150 learners from feeder secondary schools in Bardale, Mfuleni, and Masibambisane, as well as Delft Technical School.
The Engen Maths and Science School programme has run for over 33 years and strives to instill a learning environment that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
“At Engen, we want to empower learners to reach their full potential in these fields and prepare them for the modern world,” comments Yusa’ Hassan, Engen Managing Director and CEO.
Principal John Mathiso says Manzomthombo Secondary School are again reaping the benefits of quality learning courtesy of Engen.
“In 2016, Engen made an extremely generous multi-million Rand donation to Manzomthomobo, which enabled us to build seven modern science and computer laboratories as well as upgrade our technology classroom,” says Mathiso.
He says the benefits of learning in modern facilities, has resulted in a thriving academic environment and a proud record of academic excellence.
“We are very grateful to Engen for their continued support and are extremely excited to host Cape Town’s second Engen Maths and Science School. Our teachers and students are very proud of our quality learning environment, which enables students to thrive and excel,” adds Mathiso.
The importance of STEAM learning was in the spotlight again recently after statistics from the Department of Basic Education indicated that there was a decline in the number of students taking pure mathematics in 2020 as well as a drop in overall mathematics performance.
Data shows that only 245 005 matric students enrolled for mathematics for the 2020 examinations –11 000 fewer than in 2019.
The EMSS programme focuses specifically on providing extra tuition in “gateway” subjects such as mathematics and science, which are critical in addressing the country’s technical and engineering skills shortages as well as spurring economic growth and development for a sustainable and inclusive future.
Says Engen’s Hassan: “Our EMSS programme seeks to harness the potential of talented young people in difficult circumstances and to contribute to the pool of scarce skills in our country.”
Despite being situated in a disadvantaged community characterised by high unemployment and social challenges, Manzomthombo Secondary School has consistently defied the odds with excellent matric results, remaining true to its motto of ‘Quality and Excellence’.
Comments Principal Mathiso: “Our teachers strive to offer quality teaching and learning to around 1 638 learners and this is evident in the school matric pass rate in 2020 which was an impressive 90.1%”
It is a record of consistent academic performance across all grades that is admired by Hassan who says Engen is proud to be associated with Manzomthombo Secondary School.
“Not only is this school an inspiration, but a shining beacon of hope as its demographics speak closely to the skills development and social investment imperatives of Engen.
“With 100% of the learner population being from disadvantaged communities, this upliftment project remains true to the South African objective of elevating those in need”, he adds.
EMSS classes are currently held every Saturday at ten locations across South Africa, including: Cape Town (CPUT and Manzomthombo Secondary School), Port Elizabeth, East London, Cala and Johannesburg, and in KwaZulu-Natal at Fairvale High School, Ganges High School, Howard College, and Mangosuthu University of Technology.