By Delphino Machikicho – Western Cape District Manager

The Class of 2020 will certainly be remembered in history. The resilience these learners displayed in the face of adversity is noteworthy. The COVID 19 pandemic exposed the underbelly of the education system particularly in the Western Cape where most township schools did not have the capacity to support learners. The value of afterschool programs such as IkamvaYouth came into the limelight during this 2020 academic year. We are excited to announce that our Western Cape matric cohort achieved an astounding 86% pass rate. This is a significant increase from a 78% pass rate from the previous year. We are also encouraged by the quality of the passes that our learners attained as 56% of our learners in the province achieved bachelor passes and 76% of our learners qualify for tertiary education. This is directly in line with our mission which is to ensure that learners receive quality education for them to attain a dignified living.

The best-performing branch in the province was the Kuyasa branch that achieved a sterling 100% pass rate with 92% of the learners attaining bachelor passes. This is an incredible fit for our Khayelitsha-based branch that has grown in leaps and bounds over the past years. One of the top-performing learners, Phelisa, has been accepted at the University of the Western Cape to study Pharmacy had this to say,
“I joined IY in 2018, in grade 10. I was a new student at Siphamandla from the Eastern Cape. I had low marks and an improvement since joining IY. For us matrics 2020 was a difficult year, our school did not have online classes and I had no access to a laptop for digital classes. IkamvaYouth intervened and introduced online classes and bought us airtime to ensure that we could attend classes with tutors.”

Our GugsComp branch was one of the most improved branches nationally as their 2020 cohort achieved an 88% pass rate. The branch’s top achiever Nelson managed to achieve seven distinctions and he shared his IkamvaYouth experience, “I joined IkamvaYouth in grade 8 through the YearBeyond program and I graduated into IkamvaYouth at grade 10. I received support from IkamvaYouth through the afternoon classes and Saturday classes. Last year was difficult for us but I am glad I was part of Ikamva as I did not miss out on school. I had online classes with tutors and I managed to do well.”

The Atlantis branch achieved a 98% pass rate with its biggest matric cohort since its inception in 2016. Operating in a peri-urban community in the outskirts of Cape Town the Atlantis branch has shown exponential growth and the matric results are a testament to that. IkamvaYouth had seven learners in the Top Ten at our host school, Robinvale High School. Mrs. Elaine Carls, a parent of one of our matriculants expressed her excitement, “I am grateful for Ikamva, they helped my son a lot since he was in grade 10. Ikamva was with him every step of the way. I am very proud of my son, he worked really hard. I know he will have a bright future but he will still depend on Ikamva for support including myself as a parent. Ikamva is one of the best.”

Our other branches in Nyanga, Makhaza and Masiphumelele also performed exceptionally well with the aim to bridge the gap between our learners and those in well-resourced schools. In these three branches, 65 learners are eligible to access tertiary education in 2021. We are extremely proud of our learners and we are grateful for our tutors that sacrificed their time to work with learners beyond their contractual obligations.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020, the future is in your hands.