Grade 10, 11 and 12 learners to be celebrated by Datatec Foundation/Kutlwanong Centre at East London’s Southern Sun Hemingways Hotel
Learners at the Datatec Education and Technology Foundation, in partnership with the Kutlwanong Centre for Maths, Science and Technology in the East London township of Mdantsane, continue to represent possibilities of what young people can become when given the right opportunities.
Despite the Kutlwanong matric class of 2021 enduring even more significant challenges than the previous year’s cohort, these learners were the first to contend with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic for two years. They produced excellent results in the year-end National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations, setting them on a course for future success.
Matric learners benefitting from the programme achieved a 100% pass rate for mathematics and the same for physical science – the two “gateway” subjects deemed most critical for South Africa’s future growth.
Even more significantly, 92% of the 60 Mdantsane pupils participating in the programme scored higher than 50% for mathematics and 90% of learners scored above 50% for physical science. All told, 95% of these Promaths learners achieved Bachelor’s passes, allowing them to access the country’s leading universities.
Inathi Melento, for example, is now pursuing a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery(MBChB) degree at the University of Cape Town, while another Kutlwanong 2021 matriculant, Viwe Shumayela, is studying Pharmacy at Wits University in Johannesburg.
On 6 August, these and other learners in grades 10, 11 and 12 who participated in the programme last year were honoured for their remarkable achievements in a ceremony hosted by the Datatec Foundation and Kutlwanong Centre at the Southern Sun Hemingways Hotel in East London.
The keynote address was delivered by Nkosabantu Mabece, Deputy Chief Education Specialist at the Department of Education, who spoke on why programmes such as those offered by Kutlwanong are vital to developing South Africa’s younger generation.
Learners in each grade received awards across several categories, including Top Achiever, Most Improved in Maths, Most Improved in Science, Distinction in Maths, Distinction in Science, and Distinction in Maths and Science.
About 125 guests attended, including the 14 award recipients, grade 12 learners, representatives from Datatec and Kutlwanong, the Department of Education, and teachers. They celebrated the programme’s best performers as they received their awards and certificates.
Their performances have built on the legacy of the strategic partnership between Kutlwanong and the Datatec Foundation, established 13 years ago to help improve the quality of maths and science education in South Africa’s underprivileged schools.
This collaboration underscores the importance of corporate interventions in giving previously disadvantaged learners the necessary skills for a better education.
Maya Makanjee, the chair of the Datatec Foundation, describes Kutlwanong as “an effective, well-run organisation” that has enabled Datatec to make a small but meaningful contribution to education in South Africa.
“We are pleased that this long-established partnership has produced hundreds of distinctions in maths and science, as well as bachelor, diploma and higher certificate passes, and, most importantly, university graduates,” she says.
“Maths education faces many challenges in our country, but we believe that with long-term thinking, consistency and like-minded partners, we can make a meaningful difference,” she says.
The founder and CEO of Kutlwanong, Tumelo Mabitsela, lauds the programme as one that cultivates and instils a general culture of discipline and hard work that spills over into all school subjects and, as
a result, most of the learners in the programme qualify for bursaries and gain access to university to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related careers.
Kutlwanong Centre for Maths, Science and Technology has 16 centres and has assisted more than 32 000 students in achieving decent passes of 50% and above in maths and science.