Time to Celebrate! Some Ikamvanites from Joza with their 2016 Matric results
The education system in the Eastern Cape is often described as “in crisis”, and pass rates are highly unequal between privileged and unprivileged schools. Schools’ pass rates in the Province in 2015 ranged from averages of 15% to 85%.
IkamvaYouth’s Joza branch is based in a peri-urban township just outside of Grahamstown.
The learners attend schools in Joza, which often” under-perform”; despite their proximity to some of the highest achieving academic schools in the country, and the university currently known as Rhodes. However, the class of 2016 turned the norm of under-performance on its head, delivering excellent results: 92% matric passes; 73% of which are Bachelor passes.
Vuyolwethu Zumani (Centre) achieved a Bachelor pass with 5 distinctions!
Vuyolwethu Zumani is one of the twelve matric learners from three schools in Joza who have been attending after-school tutoring at IkamvaYouth three times a week, and during the school holidays. Vuyolwethu achieved a Bachelor pass with five distinctions in Maths; Physical Sciences; Life Sciences; Geography and Life Orientation. He is one of the top achieving learners in the district and has been invited to the Premier’s celebrations in East London. This is a great achievement as he has had to clear some major hurdles, including the shortage of teachers at his school and the financial instability at home. He has been accepted to study towards a BSc majoring in Maths and Statistics at Rhodes this year. When asked about his secret to success, Vuyolwethu says “Sacrifice is key because there will be a lot of distractions during the year. Matrics need to stay focused and commit to their books”.
Pictured above from left to right: Nkosinathi Patosi (Branch Assistant), Siyanda Dyubhulu (Matriculant), Nompumezo Makinana (Branch Coordinator), Thandiwe Stuurman (Matriculant), Zipho Nxakala (Matriculant), Patrick Mashanda (Programmes Manager) celebrate the learners’ achievements.
Nompumezo Makinana is celebrating her one year anniversary as the Joza branch coordinator at IkamvaYouth today. “I’m beyond thrilled with this achievement. I joined the programme exactly a year ago and this morning I was anxious as I did not want to achieve less than what the branch achieved in 2015. It has not been an easy ride but the learners’ commitment to their studies must be applauded. Also the team behind the scenes, we could not have had these results without our tutors and national team that were there to support us and guide us to where we are” she says.
IkamvaYouth’s tutors are all volunteers; most are tertiary students, and many are ex-learners from the programme. IkamvaYouth Joza is funded by the Claude Leon Foundation, and partners include Nombulelo High School and Rhodes University Community Engagement. It is thanks to these and many more wonderful people who have applied their hearts and minds to assisting these learners. Ultimately though, it is the learners themselves who can be really proud of themselves and enjoy the rewards of their very hard work.
IkamvaYouth is a non-profit organisation, enabling disadvantaged youth to pull themselves and each other out of poverty through education. The organisation provides free after-school tutoring, career guidance, mentoring, computer literacy training and extra-curricular engagement to learners in grades 8-12. The organisation is currently operating in 16 townships in 5 provinces across South Africa. To find out more, go to www.ikamvayouth.org or call Hetile on 062 105 1707.
*Referenced in this article:
Huffington Post – A Sobering Case Study On The Eastern Cape Education System
Each year, IkamvaYouth Mahikeng takes over the Danville Secondary School hall to end the year with a Prizegiving event. This is a celebration of the learners’ achievements and efforts across a wide range of disciplines, improvement and academics. Compared to last year, the branch experienced a full house,with the occasional tissue required at times!
Several attendees asked to read the annual Prizegiving speech, given by Katlego Mosupa, a Grade 10 learner from Setumo Secondary school. You can read this speech below:
“Our dear parents, tutors and fellow Ikamvanites. It is with great honor that I am standing in front of you today to express my gratitude to our IkamvaYouth tutors and staff. I always come to the branch with the excitement and with the hope that I will be assisted. Tutoring sessions are never disappointing to me. We have committed tutors who always go an extra mile to assist us- the learners”.
Dressed in Vintage, one learner was voted dressed for the day by the parents. Ontlametse Banda, who was looking splendid received a breakfast voucher from Wimpy to use during the December holidays.
Amongst the other things, Refilwe Botipeng, a Grade 10 learner from Danville Secondary received the “Learner of the year” award. The decision was based on among others, her behaviour and manner; always arriving at the branch on time; always striving to speak English and respect on a broad scale- respecting the learners, tutors and staff. She hands in her term report without a push, and on time and practices peer-to-peer support to the fellow Ikamvanites. The Programme Coordinator, Bonolo Thebe, thanked the amazing tutors who so generously and willingly have given up their time to ensure the marks of the learners improve. She also thanked the stakeholders and parents for their support, as well as the learners for their commitment. Bonolo ended off by wishing learners happy holidays hoped to see them next year with tons of energy.
Photo of Ikamvanites, Parents and IY Relatives
The event is where we celebrated a wonderful year of many significant achievements. The branch equally acknowledged all the Ikamvanites who used the opportunity in the year striving towards personal growth and academic excellence. Each learner received a branded coffee mug with the IkamvaYouth logo and a personalized name, a certificate recognising their academic excellence.
Presented by the Kuyasa Progamme Coordinator, Ntombi Mahlangu, 80 prize giving awards were awarded for the following mentioned categories (see below).
Photo: Ntombi (Left) presenting an award on Outstanding Commitment Approach to Learning to Silindokuhle Madzwila (Right)
These are the descriptions of each award presented at the end of the year function;
? Persistent Ikamvanite 2016
? Responsible And Enthusiastic Approach to Education
? Growth And Progress Award
? Mathematics Enthusiast
? Communication With Confidence and Charisma 2016
? Outstanding Commitment Approach to Learning
? Excellent Academic Progress in Accounting
? Commendable Consistency and Perfect Attendance Record
? Academic Excellence Enthusiast
? Principal of the Year – Mr A. Magadla from Siphamandla Secondary School
? Tutoring Venue of the Year– Kuyasa Public Library
? Parent of the Year (Ms Ntuli and Ms Mangweni)
Photo: Ntombi presenting awards to a team of Kuyasa Volunteers
The following awards were presented to volunteers;
? Excellence In Mathematics And Science Tutor
? Mathematics And Science Leading Tutor
? Accounting And Commerce Enthusiast Tutor
Photo: Yonela Sitawuti demonstrating IkamvaYouth motto that we live by daily at our tutoring space; our organizational motto is “The Future Is In Our Hands“.
Prizes and gifts were all well received by learners, parents and stakeholders. Moreover, the parents and IY relatives were hugely impressed with the achievements and attitude of all of our Ikamvanites.
With only 10 months running in the Kuyasa space, for each and every learner, the branch still strives towards helping learners achieve academic excellence, personal development and success in all their future aspiration. We are so proud working with such an excellent team dedicated towards achievement of positive goals.
Photo: Ikamvanites showing appreciation to Merrypak for a donation of mailing tubes
We would like to thank Merrpak located in Ndabeni for supporting our Prize Giving event through a donation of 48 Mailing Tubes that assisted in arranging the assortment of certificates awarded to Ikamvanites.
We are looking forward to the New Year, 2017!!
As the year 2016 draws to a close, it is important to look back and celebrate the achievements of the year gone by. The Nyanga Prize Giving was held on Friday, 02 December at the Nyanga branch. With the weather permitting, the event was held in the quad of the Zolani Centre. The event was attended by parents, volunteers, learners, IkamvaYouth staff members and neighbouring stakeholders at the centre.
It was great to see most of the Nyanga learners wearing their IY t-shirt with pride. After the welcoming address from the Branch Coordinator, a moment was taken to highlight all that has gone well for the Nyanga branch in 2016. Emphasis was placed on the positive achievements of 2016, as we often like to dwell on the trials and challenges instead of the triumphs. Included in the major achievements of 2016 was: Winter School 2016, Matric Camp, the branch’s partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Girls and Boys Club and winning the national T-shirt design competition. After highlighting the achievements of the branch, it was time to move on to the individual awards ceremony.
The energy among the learners seemed to lift as the individual awards ceremony began. The awards categories included attendance, outstanding academic achievement, most improved learners, learner of the year, matric learner of the year, excellence in English and many others. A new category introduced by the Nyanga branch was the award for ‘Shining Stars’. The ‘Shining Star’ award was received by learners who are not necessarily in the top 5 academically but do show great potential and take initiative at the branch. The winners of this award received a letter of recognition and appreciation, accompanied by a chocolate surprise and a ruler. In giving this award, we wished to reward and recognize all that they do for the branch and to encourage other learners to do the same.
[A group of learners pose with their certificates]
The volunteers were not left out of the awards ceremony. All the volunteers received a Certificate of Appreciation and a small gift. The awards ceremony was closed off with a few special gifts to recognize those who have contributed greatly to the Nyanga branch’s success in 2016. The branch did not forget to thank and recognize Lawrence, the branch security guard who goes above and beyond for everyone at the branch. The event was then closed off and refreshments were served.
The Nyanga branch is grateful to have so much to celebrate in 2016.
On the 26th of November 2016 Masi branch hosted the year end prizegiving ceremony at Masiphumelele Library. On this day the Masi branch was honouring all the hard work done by the learners and tutors and also acknowledging our partners. Sanelisiwe and Sandisiwe Ndzuzo, both in Grade 9, were the MCs of the day and started the event on very high note with lots of energy, excitement and enthusiasm.
The prizegiving categories were, Learner of the year voted by other learners; Most Improved, Outstanding Academic Achievement, Best Attendance, Learner Involvement and Certificate of Participation for Volunteers.
Thulisa Mayekiso briefly explained the Nal’ibali programme for the Grade 9 and 10s before handing out certificates and prizes for the Book Club. The event was a success, the parents, learners and tutors were really excited and celebrating all the achievements done by the Masinites.
The Masi Branch especially thanks the Masiphumelele Public Library staff for their constant support and in-kind donations ; Capitec Bank, State Street Southern Africa and Cognia Law for their financial support as well as providing some mentors for the Matriculants. Thank you to Pick n’ Pay Fish Hoek Family Store for always generously donating food during Winter School and all other special events.
On Saturday 12 November, the Nyanga branch hosted the last tutor appreciation event for the year. Unlike previous tutor appreciation events, the Nyanga tutors had no idea where they would be going for the event. The invitation brief stated that the dress code was casual and that everyone was required to wear closed shoes. The day began with the usual tutoring session at the branch. All that the tutors knew was that they were going somewhere after the tutoring session. The branch staff kept the tutors in suspense until they had reached their destination. The mystery event was bowling!
It was time to let the games begin. The group was divided into four small teams that would play alongside each other. The game consisted of ten rounds for each team and all team members were required to participate in each round. It didn’t take the teams long before the race to the finish line began. The teams cheered each other on as the rounds drew closer to the finish line. It was the most competitive and focused team that emerged as the champions of the day. Everyone agreed that it was purely just a coincidence that this group only had male team members.
After the excitement and rivalry of the game it was finally time for lunch. After lunch, the group headed to the game arcade for more fun and games. The rivalry from the bowling alley disappeared and the tutors started working together for a common goal: winning as many coupons as possible in order to redeem a prize that can be taken back to the branch. With over 500 coupons collected, the group was able to purchase Playing Cards and Snakes & Ladders for the branch. It was great to see that the Nyanga tutors think about the branch even when they are not volunteering. It was also great to see our tutors and branch staff battling out on the bowling alley.
We are grateful that this small token of appreciation was well received by all those who attended.
[Tutors enjoying a selfie moment]