Don’t stop until you’re proud, says Cape Town top matriculant


Living by the philosophy, don’t stop until you are proud, drives Kirsten Prins. Following an exceptional set of matric results, the Milnerton High School alumnus certainly deserves a moment to take a bow.  

Prins, who attended the Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS) in Cape Town for supplementary tuition, achieved an incredible 93.5% average for matric, with 97% for both Maths and Science and 87% for English, positioning her as the top national EMSS student for 2020. 

The Parow local plans to study Medicine at the University of Stellenbosch this year and follow her dream of helping those who come from disadvantaged communities. 


“My parents are from a small, marginalised community which contributed to them not achieving to their fullest ability as a result of financial pressure,” explains Kirsten. 

Kirsten says losing her aunt to breast cancer last year and self-study with limited teacher access was also tough. 

“Uncertainty of whether I would be able to complete the academic year and virtually no social contact with friends as well as constant concern about the health of my family over the lockdown period added extreme pressure and stress. 

“But I pulled through thanks to the support of my parents. I have inherited my good work ethic and determination from them and their strong faith in me and my abilities, even when I doubted myself, definitely inspired me to work even harder,” she adds.  

Kirsten’s advice for the matric students of 2021 is to do past papers and manage your time effectively.   

“Make the most of your matric year, work until you make yourself proud and enjoy every moment. Remember matric finishes in a blink of an eye.” 

Attending EMSS Saturday classes from grade 10-12 developed Kirsten’s love for maths and Physical Science.  

“EMSS helped me understand the core concepts in maths and science which enabled me to achieve top results. From starting EMSS I have been the top Physical Science student in my school and for the past two years the top Maths student in my school.” 

The long-running Engen Maths and Science School programme offers supplementary Maths, Science and English tuition to underprivileged grade 10-12 learners.  

Saturday classes are held at nine locations across South Africa, including: Cape Town, 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. 

The 2020 Engen Maths and Science School matric class attained an impressive 84% overall pass rate of which 63% attained bachelor passes, versus the broader South African matric pass rate of 76.2%.  

Engen’s General Manager: Corporate Strategy and Communications, Khalid Latiff explains that the EMSS programme focuses specifically on providing extra tuition in “gateway” subjects such as mathematics and science, which are considered critical in addressing the country’s technical and engineering skills shortage as well as spurring economic growth and development.  

“The EMSS programme seeks to harness the potential of talented young people in difficult circumstances and to contribute to the pool of scarce skills in the country,” comments Latiff. 

“Starting off as Engen Saturday Schools over 30 years ago, Engen Maths and Science Schools are central to our skills development efforts and to help build the human capital of the future.  

“The programme has worked tirelessly to transform young lives and has, we believe, made a meaningful contribution to a more transformed and vibrant South African workforce.” 

Latiff says the company is incredibly proud of Kirsten Prins and all the learners who completed matric in 2020, especially under a difficult set of circumstances. 

“Our ultimate reward is to help set them all up to pursue stimulating careers that won’t only benefit them personally, but also the broader macro economy of South Africa. 

Engen, congratulates Kirsten and the Engen Maths and Science School class of 2020 and offers a well-deserved round of applause to all the learners and teachers. 



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