2017 Matric Results: 84.7% of Ikamvanites defy the odds

In January of every year, we find out whether all the many hours of tutoring, winter schools, mentoring and workshops were enough to enable the current Ikamvanites to jump over their first big academic hurdle: passing matric. This year, our matric cohort grew by 66% (to 472 learners); from 10 branches with matrics to 14. With this kind of scale and stretch, we are thrilled to be able to report that we have maintained our excellent results….an incredible 84.7% passed and 74% are eligible for tertiary studies (38% bachelor and 36% diploma)! This is compared to the national pass rate of 75.1% and 28.7% bachelor passes. The schools that our learners attend had an average pass rate of 72% and an average bachelor pass of 23%. The class of 2017 also obtained 147 distinctions; to get a distinction in a subject you have to get over 80%!
Atlantis Ikamvnites jumping for joy after receiving their matric results
We are thrilled to have obtained such incredible results in the face of great adversity; all branches faced huge challenges during the course of 2017 from gangsterism in schools, to no water and electricity, to floods. In Umlazi, for example, there was a period last year when learners couldn’t attend the branch because of child abductions in the township and then there were the floods, where one of our learners lost her brother. 
Our top performing branch this year was Ebony Park, which had 35 matriculants. 97% passed and 91% are eligible for tertiary! Michael, the Branch Coordinator, says: I think the branch history with regard to pass rate kept us on our toes. We knew that we had to do better than our previous years. Starting the year with a plan and sticking to it was our main goal to ensure we got great results. Learner commitment meant that we could create a management plan for each learner, which worked so well. Also, stability played a huge role as learners and staff have been together for a while which made things easy for everyone. 2015 was a challenging year for the branch as we dropped out of the 90% zone, however, we vowed never to repeat that again and ensured that we learned from it! 
Not only did Ebony Park achieve a 97% matric pass rate but our new Atlantis branch achieved a 94% pass rate with their first matric cohort! The branch has also faced a number of extreme challenges, including high levels of gang violence;  a learner was tragically shot dead outside Proteus Secondary School (where our branch is based). There were also major challenges in volunteer attendance, due to the distance of tertiary institutions from the schools.  All our branch staff work so hard to ensure that our learners succeed, but we want to shout out to our colleagues Yanga Totyi, the Branch Coordinator, and Andrea Pietersen, the Branch Assistant who have shown what is possible in a new community.
Yanga Totyi shares a story about a learner from their first matric cohort who has faced great adversity but has overcome the odds: He has had to overcome joining a gang in Atlantis and chose to direct his energies towards studying. There have been times when the gang members have tried to recruit him, fight him physically and so on but he has remained unshaken in his course of pursuing education. He managed to obtain a Diploma pass and will be pursuing studies in mechanical engineering. He has had many incredible mentors from Green Cape who have always spurred him on despite all the family and community challenges he faced in the past year.
In the Eastern Cape, matric results for the province remain low -although there was an improvement from 2016, the Province achieved a 65% pass rate. IkamvaYouth’s Eastern Cape branch achieved an 85% showing for the fifth year in a row; proof that with commitment and support learners can beat the odds! One of the top achieving learners from the class of 2017 is Lonwabo Sandi who obtained a Bachelor pass.  He has been accepted at Rhodes University to study towards a BCom Accounting degree. Lonwabo thanks IkamvaYouth for being so fantastic and providing him with tutors who contributed to his achievement, free internet so he could do research online, find study resources and apply online. He says he is coming back to be the best tutor IkamvaYouth has ever seen.
It is with great pride that we share our results; we are so proud of our learners, tutors and staff who work so hard to achieve them. All IkamvaYouth tutors are volunteers; they don’t get paid to tutor week after week, but they do it because they care about the future of their country. The majority are young black South Africans, who are attending college or university, so they also have a huge amount of work to do themselves, yet they find the time to put their young community members first. IkamvaYouth couldn’t do its great work without this incredible commitment and we would like to send a massive shout out to our phenomenal tutors: thank you for taking the future of our country into your hands! 
Our results would also be impossible without the commitment of our donors; many of whom have been supporting us for many years. There are too many to thank individually here, but we would like to give a massive shout of thanks to all our donors, and in particular our top five of 2017: Coca Cola Bottling South Africa, ELMA Foundation, Omidyar Network, Cargill International and the Estee Lauder Charitable Foundation.  
If you would like to support IkamvaYouth, you can either volunteer by signing up here or donate via this link