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
There is a popular African proverb that says “it takes a village to raise a child”. Nowhere is this proverb more important than in the education of our children. The success of the child depends on the community that surrounds and supports them. That community is made up of staff, learners, tutors, volunteers and parents.
Two of the volunteers at the Joza branch share some of their thoughts on why they continue paying it forward and volunteering at the branch. Sibulele Moyakhe is from the matric class of 2015. He tutors daily at the branch while waiting to start his nursing qualification with Netcare. Nomboniso Gongqa is a volunteer from the community who works in the office in the mornings and tutors in the afternoons.
Being a tutor for me is exciting because I get to meet people of my age and those younger than me and actually help them with their school work. Part of the reason why this whole experience excites me is because in the past few years I was a learner and there were volunteers who helped me with my school work and today I can proudly say they have made a difference in my life which is why today I made a decision to give back to the community and help when I can.
For me this tutoring thing is now becoming my hobby because it is something I get to do every day and I must say I enjoy it. There is nothing quite like being called up by a student who is stuck or cannot solve a problem asking for help, and after your assistance you see the smile on their face because you have made a difference in their lives.
One thing I have learnt ever since I have been part of IkamvaYouth is that all it takes to make a difference in one’s life as a tutor is a simple input and help where you can, and that’s what I have been doing.
The learners I work with have been very appreciative which is what drives me to keep on doing what I do, and so far the journey for me has been more than worth it, and yet this is only the beginning.
Sibulele Moyakhe, Matric 2015, Tutor 2016.
Being at IkamvaYouth has been a great experience for me because waking up to go volunteer has made me feel like a better person. Knowing that I am not here to make money for already rich people but rather helping the children of my own community. I was born and bred in Joza and I enjoy being part of an organization that has a motive of helping Joza children to be successful in life.
For me it is exciting every morning when I come to the office to see the children who are willing to put in the hours to benefit their future. The programme gives these children an opportunity to improve their education rather than spend their hours after school being involved in activities such as crime and drugs. They say if one wants to make a change then they should start at home. I’m also gladly starting at home. As much as the learners are learning from me, I am learning from them too.
Nomboniso Gongqa, Volunteer and Tutor.
The Joza branch’s efforts to get Ikamvanites reading is off to a great start thanks to the generosity of the local Bargain Books store. The bookstore responded to our call for a donation of reading materials to use for our Saturday morning reading session and they donated a book hamper worth over R1500.
The hamper includes a selection of novels, writing pads, diaries, K-53 learner’s book, journals, a DVD collection and an audio book. These will be shared at the reading sessions as well as given to the learners who show commitment to the programme. This will improve our reading programme as we didn’t have sufficient new reading material for the learners.
Ikamvanites were excited to receive the books and look forward to winning of some of the goodies in the weekly English writing competition that we have initiated at the branch.
We would like to thank Ashia Nkontsa and Sharon Grant of Bargain Books Grahamstown for their generous contribution.
Ikamva LiseZandleni Zethu- The Future is in our Hands.
The IkamvaYouth Joza Branch celebrated the achievements of its learners at the annual open day and prize giving event last Saturday. The awards ranged from those who have demonstrated academic excellence to those who were rewarded for their availability and willingness to help around the branch.
The guest speaker at this year’s event was Ms Monica Canca, the first Joza branch coordinator. Her motivational speech will live long in the memories of all the staff, volunteers, learners and parents present as she repeated that joining IkamvaYouth was “the best decision you will ever make in your life”.
Ms Nocawa Mzembe, a parent of one of the top performing matrics, offered some advice to parents and children alike. “Noba kuyanetha, vuka uye eIkamvaYoutk”, she said encouraging learners to attend the programme whether it is raining or not. She went on to advise parents to give their matric children a break from household chores this year, allowing them more time with their studies. “Whatever happens at the end of the year, your child will know that you had given them all the support that you could,” she said.
The Overall Academic Award this year was awarded to Vuyolwethu Zumani, who achieved brilliant results, especially in Maths and Physical Science. The principal of Ntsika Secondary School, Mrs Madeleine Schoeman accepted Sinazo Madakana’s award for Matric of the year in her absence. Other mentionable awards were Athenkosi Adam for Platinum attendance (90 – 100%) and Appreciation awards to Sibulele Moyakhe and Banele Xoki for always being there to assist in the branch.
Thabang Stoffel, who returned to the branch to tutor, gave an encouraging speech to his peers. He said that it is important to remember who you are and that if you fall, it does not mean the end. You must pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again. He is living proof that with perseverance comes success. This year he is registered with Rhodes University to study towards a Bachelor of Science Degree.
This event was a fantastic opportunity to formally celebrate the abundance of talent that exists within IkamvaYouth Joza in a diverse range of areas. The attendees enjoyed music and poetry from Ikamvanites Nobathembu Nxawe, Awonke Manze and Sibulele Moyakhe.
The day reflected on past achievements and also looked to the future as we are proud of the successes of the class of 2015 and look forward to helping them become confident, responsible and successful members of society.
Ikamva Lisezandleni Zethu: The future is in our hands
Life officially begins!!!!!!
On the 25/11/2015 we held a preparation session for the Ikamvanites in Joza branch. Due to the common trend of students committing suicides upon discovering they’ve failed, we saw the need to equip them in advance so that they know failure is not the end but the chance to begin knowing where one went wrong in the first place.
We were blessed with the presence of two wonderful social workers who engaged with the students. The session was truly inspiring and uplifting, everyone participated in the discussion. One learner had this to say about the experience “Today was helpful and an addition concerning things I had no knowledge of.” Sibulele Moyakhe.
We plan on expanding on this collaborative effort with social development by providing all our learners the necessary support, across all grades (10-12) during the entire course of the coming year.
Thank You Social Development in Grahamstown
As can be seen in our Annual Report 2014
was the year of growth for us: our matric class was 63% bigger than the previous year, we reached over 1,700 learners and we opened our tenth branch. But let’s not forget why we are here, for most of South Africa’s children, the only way out of poverty is through education. Ikamvanites (IkamvaYouth learners) continue to prove that anyone and everyone – irrespective of the school one attends and the socio-economic status of one’s parents can achieve his dreams and escape poverty.
Please read more in our 2014 annual report about the innovation of our model, why we need more Ikamvanites, hear from the Ikamvanites themselves and why our three largest donors of 2014 (Omidyar Network, Amalgamated Beverage Industries and Capitec Foundation) continue to support us.
It is thanks to these donors and many others that we have been able to achieve the results that we have over the last 12 years. South Africa’s future rests on the success of our children. IkamvaYouth is fundraising to reach even more of South Africa’s children in 2016 and needs your support. Please contact me if you would like to discuss supporting IkamvaYouth or find out more about us.