IkamvaYouth learners from township and rural schools achieve 85% pass rate; 42% of which are bachelor passes.

“Today my life begins and I’m so happy” – Anathi Malindi, Grade 12 learner from Nyanga.

Speaking on SAFM on 4th January, Graeme Bloch said that “you have to go to a model c school if you want to do well in matric”. And although the country is celebrating the 70.2% national matric pass rate, analysts agree that this figure masks the inequalities in achievement and access to tertiary study. With learners at township and rural schools severely under-performing, it appears that the higher the school fees the better one’s chances of academic achievement.

Yet IkamvaYouth’s volunteers and learners have once again shown that excellent results are possible, irrespective of which school one attends. There were 100 Grade 12 learners enrolled at IkamvaYouth in 2011, and of the 85% that passed, 42% obtained bachelor passes. This is remarkable given that only 24.3% bachelor passes were achieved nationally; the far majority by ex-model c schools. Two Western Cape branches with their first grade 12 classes did particularly well (Masiphumelele achieved 96% pass; Nyanga 93%), and the Ivory Park branch led the pack with a 100% pass rate). Overall, 70% of learners have achieved the bachelor or diploma passes they need to access tertiary education.

 Matriculants at Makhaza Branch, Khayelitsha

IkamvaYouth sets no academic pre-requisite for enrollment in the programme. Most learners join with abysmal academic results and are from impoverished homes with unemployed caregivers. During their time with IkamvaYouth, learners dramatically improve their results, access tertiary education, and as Portia Dlamini’s mother in rural KZN hopes, will be able to “carry the family out of poverty”. Many ikamvanites excelled (25 distinctions overall) and – most importantly – many showed significant improvement. “When I joined IkamvaYouth, my third highest mark was 64%, and today I’ve achieved 5 distinctions”, said Shelton Chadya from Ivory Park. Tshepo Lesejane effectively doubled his maths literacy result (39% when he joined; he matriculated with distinction).

Gauteng Branch celebrating Matrics with Branch Coordinator Joe Manciya

Although celebrating the results, IkamvaYouth’s work with the class of 2011 is far from over. 80% of the learners who failed are eligible for supplementary exams, and tutors will ensure that they’re ready to succeed in these exams in March. While many of those who passed have already been accepted by the country’s top universities, there is still work to be done to ensure that none of the class of 2011 become unemployed. The next step is ensuring that all these learners access tertiary education, training, internships, learnerships or employment. “IkamvaYouth will continue to support all our 2011 matrics as they access quality post-school opportunities and become tutors; enabling the following years’ learners to do the same,” says director Joy Olivier.

The tutors who help the learners to reach these heights are all volunteers. Most are university students and many are ex-learners from IkamvaYouth. They’re also the organisation’s greatest benefactors: next year, ikamvanites will be delivering the equivalent of over 3 million rands’ worth of tutoring time to learners in seven communities in three provinces. The result of this phenomenal investment is an intensive, high quality programme that offers ongoing individual attention and support to learners for under R4500 per learner per year.

As well as our volunteers gratitude must be extended to our funders and donors. In particular IkamvaYouth is especially grateful to the DG Murray Trust, EMpower, the Raimondo Trust, the Potter foundation, the Answer Series, ABI, Hatch, African Bank, Cato Manor ABM, AME Africa, the Anglo Chairman’s Fund, SEF, TSiBA, UWC, DUT, Department of Libraries and Information Science, Learning Trust, Bertha Foundation, Dietschweiler Stiftung, the Foschini Group, iKineo, Education Without Borders, World Teach, Zonke Monitoring Systems, and Capitec Bank for their vital contributions this past year. A great shout big shout out also goes to the countless individuals whose time and money has ensured that IkamvaYouth not only continues to operate in challenging economic times, but can grow and expand its reach and impact.

When announcing the results, the Minister of Basic Education pronounced the eradication of inequality a national priority. IkamvaYouth invites everyone to get involved in transforming our nation, one shining future at a time.  IkamvaYouth has branches in the Western Cape (Khayelitsha, Nyanga and Masiphumelele); KZN (Chesterville and a new branch opening in Umlazi) and Gauteng (Ivory Park, and a new branch opening in Ebony Park). IkamvaYouth has maintained a matric pass rate of between 83 and 100% each year since 2005, and true credit for these results must go to the learners, volunteers, the branch teams, and the donors.

Congratulations Class of 2011!