This Youth Day, Engen is celebrating the bright futures of their recent graduates of the 2016 Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS). EMSS is a national initiative that addresses key skills shortages in the engineering and technical fields by providing after hours Math and Science education to learners who show an advanced aptitude in the subjects.
Overall, the EMSS matric class of 2016 achieved an impressive 94% pass rate, which is up 5% from last year’s average of 89%, with 70% of learners attaining a Bachelor pass.
The top three learners of the class of 2016 all hail from KwaZulu-Natal
Leading super star, Unathi Bhodlingwe was recognised as the top learner in the EMSS Class of 2016. Unathi, a former learner from Umlazi High School, attended classes at Mangosuthu University of Technology (Mantech) and scored an impressive 93% for mathematics, 92% for science and 87% for English, attaining an overall average of 91%. Unathi is studying accounting at the University of Cape Town this year.
A learner at Westville Boys High School, Sasasa Dlamini’s 89% average saw him finish second nationally, with distinctions in all his subjects.
Sasasa is attending Harvard University in the United States to study economics or politics.
Sasasa, who first heard about EMSS at a career expo, describes his journey as “long and exacting, but world changing” and would catch a number of taxies to get to and from his EMSS studies.
“Knowing that someone believes in you is a great feeling,” he stresses. “Engen’s approach and their teachers were highly motivating. My maths and science distinctions got me to Harvard, and will give me the opportunity to change my world. My EMSS teachers always taught me that I could do more. And since both economics and politics are premised on changing the world, perhaps I can repay their faith in me by creating the means to solving challenges and employing thousands of people. Choosing which subject to study will be tough, but I’m really excited to get this opportunity.”
In third place, another star pupil is Kerisha Lutchmia who attended Fairvale Secondary and is studying actuarial science at the University of Cape Town this year. Kerisha started the EMSS programme in grade 10 as she saw an opportunity. “It was made easily accessible, and I continued as a dedicated pupil through to grade 12. My passion lies in mathematics so I knew I wanted to go into a mathematical-orientated field.
“After much research, I found there was a lack of actuaries in South Africa. Therefore I chose actuarial sciences as I will not only be doing what I enjoy but I will also be contributing to South Africa,” she said.
Her advice to the youth is simple: “Learn to love learning. Once you appreciate your education, hard work and dedication comes naturally and you will be able to achieve all your goals.”
Engen’s corporate social investment manager, Mntu Nduvane said the company is delighted to have given bright young pupils such as Unathi, Sasasa and Kerisha the chance to pursue their dreams of working in maths and science fields.
“Many pupils in the programme had to overcome great socio-economic hardships to achieve their high results. We are very proud of all the graduates of the class of 2016 and wish them all the best in their tertiary studies and future careers,” said Nduvane.