So Andrew’s matric result predictions were both spot on! While analysis and discussion on the second point will follow next week, today we’re celebrating the first: that ikamvanites will once again excel 🙂

Ikamvanites have shown, once again, that transformation is possible, despite the odds. The great news is that 78% of the class of 2010 is eligible to move from township schools to tertiary institutions next year! 

It has been a difficult year for matrics across the country, with much of the school year lost to the World Cup and public sector strikes, and learners in township schools have been hit especially hard. Yet ikamvanites achieved an 87% pass rate, with 52% Bachelor passes and 38% diploma passes. 36 distinctions were awarded. We’re producing results comparable to the country’s top (and highly resourced) schools in our mission to redress inequality in South Africa: Well done to everyone who’s ensured that our matric pass rate has been between 87 and 100% since 2005!

Each branch has achieved excellent results:

  • 85% pass in Western Cape (of whom 48% achieved bachelor and 39% diploma)
  •  85% in KZN (of whom 50% achieved bachelor and 45% diploma), and
  • 94% in Gauteng (of whom 63% bachelor and 25% diploma).

 Of those learners that failed 70% are eligible to write supplementary exams, and we need all hands on deck to ensure they get the support they need.

While we are very proud of our learners and these achievements, the real measure of IkamvaYouth’s success is our ability to help learners access post-school opportunities. Achieving these results is a first big step, yet many obstacles need to be overcome in the next few weeks, including actually being accepted, finding money for registration fees and navigating the bureaucracy of institutions and financial aid. Some of our learners have already received confirmation of university placements and scholarships, but there is work to be done to meet our target of at least 60% enrolling at tertiary with the remainder securing learnerships or employment.

The young social entrepreneurs (i.e. the rockstars Khona, Joe & Andrew, Winile, Nombu, Nico& Zoe&Sue) that run IkamvaYouth’s branches have successfully leveraged the power of volunteerism and strategic partnerships (with local universities, public libraries, NGOs, companies and foundations) to replicate the IkamvaYouth model. Together with their awesome volunteers, they ensure that learners receive the information and support they need to succeed despite the challenges of township school education. These results are possible thanks to the learners’ and volunteers’ hard work and the rallied support of diverse stakeholders. The fully sponsored Answer Series Study Guides were no doubt a big boost in assisting our learners. IkamvaYouth garnered support from the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) last year, and hopes to partner with other Education Departments in 2011.

Many learners jumped 2-3 symbols since joining the organisation, and there have been excellent individual results. Brighton Dube, a Gauteng ikamvanite, received five distinctions. Simphiwe Ndzube, a committed Ikamvanite at the Masiphumelele branch achieved 94% in visual art and has been accepted at UCT’s Michaelis Art School. He says “What made me focus; I had a dream, a goal to get into university, which motivated me to work hard, study every day, and I was aided by the supported from my family, friends, teachers and IkamvaYouth mentors. Wow, I did well! UCT here I come! I am proud of myself!” Thabisile Cele, an ikamvanite in KZN, had to overcome the challenge of her parents not understanding why she studied late into the night. Her parents were often unhappy with her “wasting electricity” while studying at night (her father is disabled and unemployed). Encouraged by her sister (a former ikamvanite) not to give up, Thabisile saved up some money and bought candles. Her family is celebrating her Bachelor’s pass and acceptance to study Environmental Studies at the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN).

Matthew Mlahleki celebrates his 5Bs and 3Cs with tutors Fulufelo Tshigomana and Clement Shai at IY Gauteng

We are thrilled that the class of 2010 has achieved the results to make this change happen for themselves and for others”, says IkamvaYouth KZN director Khona Dlamini. Winile Mabhoko, the Khayelitsha branch coordinator, expects that most of these matriculants will return as volunteer tutors and mentors, as has happened in previous years. Class of 2010: Please pay-it-forward and register as IY tutors!

We’re welcoming new learners in grades 8-11 into its programmes. Interested learners, parents and volunteers should make their way to their nearest branch on 22 January for IkamvaYouth’s Open Day, to find out how to become an ikamvanite.