From Actuarial Science, Bio Tech and Computer Science to Zoology

In January, along with hi-fives and star jumps, the ikamvanites were proud to announce an 82% pass for the class of 2014. Now, after finally gathering in the results for those writing supplementary exams, we’re thrilled to announce an overall 84% pass, with 85% eligible for tertiary institutions (50% bachelor and 34% diploma).

However, while a matric pass is difficult to obtain (especially for those attending schools where more than half of learners drop out before reaching matric), it is just the first of many hurdles that need to be cleared in the race towards a career that can catapult a family out of poverty.

Research has shown (Van der Berg & Broekhuizen, 2013) that unemployment for those with less than 12 years of schooling is 42%, while for matriculants it’s 29%. Those with non-degree tertiary education have an unemployment level of about 16%, while for people with a degree, unemployment is under 5%. The numbers of youth not in education, employment or training (NEETs) have increased over the last few years and currently sit at almost 34% of 15 – 24-year-olds in South Africa.

IkamvaYouth is thrilled to report that 85% of the 2014 matrics ARE in education, employment, or training (and not NEETs). Of the 244 learners who wrote matric in 2014:

  • 49% are in tertiary institutions (30% at university and 19% at colleges)

  • 18% have learnerships or jobs

  • 18% are working to upgrade their matric results

These results are remarkable, especially given the norms and expectations of township youth. Beauty Komone , who attended the Ivory Park branch, says “I grew up in a disadvantaged family of seven where none of my three siblings (who are out of high school) have managed to get into tertiary. Tutoring and other programmes that are run by IkamvaYouth have boosted my performance and the way I perceive life. I am now at University studying information technology (IT)!”

Ikamvanites have chosen to study towards careers that will advance the country’s development. Of those enrolled in tertiary institutions (112 learners), 12% are studying engineering, 14% are studying IT, 18% are studying health sciences, and 34% are studying finance, business or entrepreneurship. We’re encouraged to see that 6% are studying education; our hope is for many more ikamvanites to build their careers by transforming South Africa’s education system.

Katlego Octivious is studying architecture, and Boitumelo Mahladisa is training to become a policeman and keep his community safe. We are particularly proud of Tiyiselani Mpangane, who was really struggling with her academics when she joined the Ebony Park branch in grade 10. After joining IkamvaYouth, her results have shot up remarkably; she achieved 6 distinctions for matric, and is studying actuarial science at UCT.

Most heartwarming and encouraging of all, 65% of the class of 2014 has indicated that they’ll be returning to volunteer as tutors at IkamvaYouth. They will ensure that the next cohorts of learners reach similar heights; and propel the virtuous cycle of ikamvanites paying-it-forward, pulling themselves and each other out of poverty.

We need your help to make the circle bigger: Get involved as a volunteer, or donate!