The 2016 class of the Engen Maths and Science Schools achieved an impressive 94% pass rate, up 5% from last year’s average of 89%, with 70% of learners attaining a Bachelor pass.
The Engen Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) are a national initiative that seeks to address key skills shortages in the engineering and technical fields by providing supplementary support to government efforts to promote Maths and Science education.
At an awards ceremony held in East London over the weekend, Engen proudly announced the top learner in the Eastern Cape who also placed in joint third place nationally. Athini Mqolora who attended Wongalethu High School in East London achieved an impressive overall average of 88% with distinctions in Maths, Science and English. Athini is studying Medicine this year at UCT.
First in the Port Elizabeth region is Bitterhout Olwethu who achieved an overall aggregate of 85% with distinctions in Maths, Science and English.
Learners from Grade 10 to 12 who show potential in maths and science, attend Saturday classes where they receive tuition from skilled teachers, as well supplementary educational material and academic support.
In 2016, 1 881 learners from Grades 10 to 12 participated in EMSS classes, of which 586 wrote the Grade 12 National Senior Certificate exams.
The majority of schools supported by EMSS are typically “no fee” schools in disadvantaged communities, which are often faced with an assortment of challenges.
Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Mntu Nduvane says the company is delighted to have given many bright young learners the chance to pursue their dreams of working in maths and science related fields.
“Many learners in the programme had to overcome great socio-economic hardships to achieve their high results. We are proud of the Class of 2016 and wish them all the best in their tertiary studies and future careers,” says Nduvane.
The overall top learner in the EMSS Class of 2016 Unathi Bhodlingwe. Unathi, a learner at Umlazi High School in KwaZulu-Natal, scored 93% for mathematics, 92% for science and 87% for English. She obtained an overall percentage of 91% and will be studying accounting at the University of Cape Town this year.
Tasneem Sulaiman-Bray, Engen’s General Manager: Corporate Affairs says that EMSS continues to produce quality learners, many of whom pursue studies in the technical and financial fields before going on to enjoy successful careers in engineering, accounting and information technology, amongst others.
“Engen’s drive to help learners pursue stimulating careers not only benefits these young people’s lives, but the economy as a whole. We strongly believe that it is our responsibility and privilege to help young people with potential to overcome obstacles and thereby break cycles of poverty in the country,” says Sulaiman-Bray.
There are currently nine EMSS schools across South Africa with classrooms at Zakariya Park Secondary in Gauteng and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in the Western Cape. A further four schools are based in KwaZulu-Natal, with classrooms at the Mangosuthu University of Technology in Umlazi (Mantech), the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Howard Campus), Fairvale Secondary School and Ganges Secondary School in Merebank. In the Eastern Cape schools are based at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, the University of Fort Hare in East London and Cala High School, which is located in the heart of the rural Eastern Cape.