By Thandazo Mkhize – Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal District Manager

Amidst the many challenges that came with the year 2020; an unprecedented pandemic, a gap in the academic year, and the struggles to finish the curriculum and prepare for their final exams, the 2020 matric cohort managed to come out with a number of successes.

The IkamvaYouth KZN/EC branches obtained a cumulative 87% pass rate.  The region managed to secure 80% of the learners’ eligibility to tertiary, giving them a headstart as they look for opportunities that will lead them to a dignified life.

The Umlazi branch achieved 75% pass rate, 30% bachelor passes and 68% of these learners are eligible for tertiary. These results are worth celebrating considering the circumstances of the 2020 interrupted academic year. This is what Lloyd Lungu, the Umlazi Branch Assistant, had to say about the 2020 results:
“2020’s academic year was greatly challenged by the pandemic which forced the introduction of new strategies of learning and teaching. However, despite the confusion and fear brought by the Corona Virus pandemic, our grade 12 learners managed to adapt to the change and performed really well in their exams, increasing the pass rate by 2% compared to 2019 results, as well as with an increase of 11% of bachelor passes obtained. I feel proud of our grade 12 learners, this shows great commitment and hard work against unforeseen circumstances. So I’m really proud. Deep down I know they could have done better, but I’m happy with the way they’ve worked, it shows on the results”

The Chesterville branch achieved an outstanding pass rate of 93%, with 57% of these learners obtaining bachelor passes and 82% eligibility for tertiary. The branch obtained 39 distinctions out of a total of 44 learners enrolled in the year 2020.
Both branches are now focussing on assisting these learners to obtain post-matric placements. These results would not have been possible without the continued support of our volunteer tutors as well as the determination and resilience of the matrics, even in such unprecedented times.

The Eastern Cape’s Joza branch set a new standard, producing laudable results; achieving a 93% pass rate, 85% eligibility to tertiary, and 57% of the learners obtaining a bachelor pass. This is no small feat, in the backdrop of the tough infrastructural impediments faced by the region as a whole. Lutholwethu was one of the highest performers in the Joza branch and had this to say about her time at IkamvaYouth:

“I joined Ikamva in 2018 and I was doing grade 10 then. I still think that filling in that IkamvaYouth application form was one of the best decisions I had ever made for myself! IkamvaYouth would provide us with tutors that simplified most of the things I found too “hard”. There were times I’d feel like a certain topic was a little too hard and I’d obviously feel drained and helpless until I went to the branch to seek help and I’d go home feeling not so drained anymore. That way, my well-being was benefiting too (emotional and mental wellbeing). My plan is to go to Rhodes University and study towards a BCom Degree. It has always been my dream to go to university and now it is possible. It is also a passion of mine to work within the Commerce industry.”

Well done class of 2020!