The Ivory Park branch staff and matriculants celebrating a 100% pass rate
285 learners enrolled in IkamvaYouth’s after-school tutoring programmes in ten branches across five provinces have achieved an 85% pass rate; 69% of which are either Bachelor or Diploma passes, ensuring their eligibility for tertiary studies.
In South Africa, a major predictor of academic performance is the location of one’s school. When comparing results between leafy suburbs and tin-roofed townships, it appears that we have two different education systems operating in parallel. For most learners in township and rural schools, even reaching matric is a feat; only 58% of the grade 2s from 2006 made it to write matric last year, and so, as Nic Spaull explains, the actual pass mark for the matric cohort of 2016 is an abysmal 42%.
Unfortunately, the quality of one’s matric pass has a major bearing on the kinds of post-school opportunities one can access, and thus heavily influences an individual’s potential earning capacity.This is good news for the Ikamvanites who have managed to defy their context, and have leveraged the power of peer-to-peer learning and support to achieve great academic results. They’ve made an important step up the path towards earning a dignified living, and the organisation looks forward to reporting on the Class of 2016’s placements in a few months’ time.
“IkamvaYouth is especially proud of the Ivory Park branch, which achieved a 100% pass rate, and the branches in KZN (Chesterville and Umlazi), which hauled in an accumulative 41 subject distinctions”, says Programmes Manager Patrick Mashanda.‘’It is because of such results that IkamvaYouth continues to assist township youths, against all odds! We remain determined to see many more township youths breaking the cycle of poverty through education. The challenges the learners face are many, but the desire for a dignified living continues to inspire Ikamvanites to take the future into their own hands through hard work, and peer to peer learning. Well done to the class of 2016!’’
Vuyolwethu Zumani is a member of the Joza branch in the Eastern Cape. He achieved a Bachelor pass with 5 distinctions (in Maths, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Geography and Life Orientation). IkamvaYouth is proud to report that he is one of the top achieving learners in the district! Vuyolwethu cleared hurdles including a shortage of teachers at his school and financial instability at home, and has been accepted to study towards a BSc, majoring in Maths and Statistics at the university currently known as Rhodes this year.
Vuyolethu Zumani was awarded for being the top learner in the district.
The Ikamvanites are tutored and mentored by volunteers, who come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Most of the tutors are university students, and many are ex-learners from the programme, who pay-forward the help they received by supporting younger learners. Many of the volunteer mentors are professionals who assist grade 12 learners to figure out their post-school options, and assist with their applications. We look forward to welcoming members of the class of 2016 as volunteers.
Tanyaradzwa Chiyambiro, the Chesterville branch’s top achiever, says “I am currently feeling relief and am very happy since I received my results; hopefully Wits University will approve my application to study Biomedical Engineering which is what I really really want to do. IkamvaYouth has been amazing; a combination of learning and fun. Being a part of this organisation has been awesome and I’ve learnt the importance of helping others and giving back.”
We are particularly proud of those learners who will be studying to become teachers. Thabisile Mfeka, a top achiever from the Umlazi branch, achieved a Bachelor pass and plans to pass on her love of education and learning by studying a B(Ed) and teaching Maths, Science and English to learners in grades seven to nine.
Thabisile Mfeka speaks about her IkamvaYouth experience and her plans for the future
These great achievements are the result of years of hard work and strong collaborative partnerships. IkamvaYouth enrolls learners in grades 8 to 11, and works closely with the feeder schools, many other NGOs and CBOs, tertiary institutions, municipalities, Government departments, corporates and foundations.
“We are so proud of our learners and tutors, as well as the team behind them, and thank our donors for their ongoing support that enables results like these, year after year,” says Leigh Meinert, chairperson at IkamvaYouth. The organisation’s work is made possible thanks to generous support from many donors; most of which provide multi-year funding. Supporters of the Class of 2016 include Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA), the Omidyar Network,The ELMA Foundation, the Montpelier Foundation, Capitec Foundation, Cargill International,EMpower and The Learning Trust amongst many others.
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
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
The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, through two of its specialised units, continues to invest in Africa’s future leaders, and is calling for scholarship applications from across the continent for its 2017 academic year..
The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) is inviting motivated leaders from across Africa, with a track record of action who would like an injection of skills to help them go further to apply for one of several scholarships available at the school in 2017. In recent years the GSB, through the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the MTN Solution Space, has made significant investments in the development of Africa’s future leaders through access to scholarships.
To date over R6 million has been committed in scholarship funding for GSB Masters and PhD programmes. This has been made possible through the generous support of funders, including GSB Alumni, the Bertha Foundation, the Canon Collins Trust and the MTN Group. “We’re delighted to be able to continue this funding into 2017 and are inviting prospective African students who would like to study either towards their MBA or Master of Philosophy in Inclusive Innovation at the UCT GSB to apply for a scholarship,” says Dr Francois Bonnici, Director of theBertha Centre.“Through the scholarships the Bertha Centre hopes to support those who want to address our continent’s greatest challenges. We want to encourage especially those seeking social change to apply and those interested in understanding and/or challenging the current ideas of business and what it does and is used for,” says Bonnici.
The Bertha Centre, a specialised unit at the GSB established in 2011 in partnership with the Bertha Foundation, seeks to support: changemakers; social activists, entrepreneurs and innovators and out-of-the-box thinkers. Previous Bertha Centre Scholars include co-founder of Lumanki, Francois Petousis; Pimp-my-Book founder Mpodumo Doubada as well as Business Day columnist, and Livity Africa Deputy Managing Director Zamandlovu Ndlovu. “Through the generous support of our donors and sponsors we are able to cover tuition fees for our Masters programmes and provide additional financial support for living and travel costs where needed,” says Sarah-Anne Arnold, Manager of the MTN Solution Space.The MTN Solution Space, established at the GSB in 2014 in partnership with the MTN Group, seeks to support problem solvers – doers, makers, thinkers and creators – who continually seek to advance and leverage technologies for the well-being of Africans. Previous MTN Scholars include Rudzani Mulaudzi co-founder of Gradesmatch and Lianne du Toit Vice Chairperson of Silicon Cape and founder of GovHackSA. “While scholars are distinct in their professional goals and ambitions and hail from all over Africa, they are united in their common goal: to have a significant impact in the world,” says Arnold.
Geoff Bick, Acting Director of the GSB, says that the school continues to enjoy an outstanding reputation both in Africa and more broadly and is well placed to further the careers and increase the impact of committed change makers.“The UCT GSB full-time MBA is still the only MBA in Africa to be ranked in the Financial Times ranking of the top 100 MBAs in the world and it offers one of the best business educations on the continent. The GSB MBA curriculum is also the first in Africa to incorporate social innovation as a core subject. Equally groundbreaking is the MPhil in Inclusive Innovation – an interdisciplinary research-based degree that leads to the practical prototyping of new business models aligned to African markets – a first of it’s kind on the continent,” he says..
To be eligible for the scholarships, applicants must be a citizen of an African country, and must first be accepted onto the programme of their choice.
Anyone interested in applying for a Bertha Centre or MTN Solution Space scholarship should visit the GSB Scholarships information web page here. The deadline for applications is 31 October 2016.
Watch the MBA and MPhil videos on YouTube for more information on the programmes.
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
The national matric pass rate dropped from 76% in 2014 to 71% for the class of 2015. And so it was with nerves and excitement that IkamvaYouth learners, volunteers, parents, staff and donors made their way to the organisation’s branches in ten townships across five provinces last week. However, with relief and celebration, the figures confirm that the collective efforts have paid off, and the Ikamvanites have shown that with hard work, peer support and committed volunteer tutors and mentors, the odds can be impressively overcome.
Highlights of Matric 2015
Although 87% of Ikamvanites attend no-fee schools in townships, they managed to succeed against the odds and consistently beat the national average matric results:
- 80% of Ikamvanites passed the matric exam compared to 71% nationally.
- 69% of Ikamvanites are eligible for tertiary study (achieving either bachelor or diploma passes) compared to 55% nationally
- 40% of Ikamvanites qualified to study for a bachelor’s degree at university compared to 26% nationally.
Ikamvanites choose to take more difficult subjects & do better than average:
- While nationally, only 41% of matrics take mathematics and of those only 49% pass; among Ikamvanites 51% take mathematics and 58% pass.
- While nationally, only 30% of matrics take physical science and of those only 59% pass; among Ikamvanites 39% take Physical Science and 67% pass.
Many learners achieved exceptional results. Chumisa Yaphi from Makhaza achieved 6 distinctions, and has been awarded a scholarship to study at UCT. She is weighing up her options at different institutions, and wants to study either Geology or Pharmacy. Read more about her achievement in the Q&A we did with her.
Most of the learners who did not manage to pass this year are eligible for supplementary exams (61%), and so their journey towards a matric pass is not yet over. They will be tutored at IkamvaYouth branches until they write these exams.
The organisation is particularly proud of branch performance in the notoriously poor-performing regions in Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape. The Umlazi branch is celebrating an 87% pass, with 74% eligible for tertiary (39% bachelor and 35% diploma), while the Chesterville branch achieved an 89% pass (27% bachelor and 50% diploma).
Ntombikayise Mjaja, a parent at the Umlazi branch, thanked IkamvaYouth’s donors, volunteers and staff for their initiative, saying “our children are achieving because of this work; we have seen the improvements, and we are so proud of them”.
Bongane Chavane, who joined the Umlazi branch in grade 10 when he was failing Maths and Life Sciences, said that, “the matric exams were of high standard, but with IkamvaYouth in my corner I managed to get a Bachelor Pass that I am very proud of. Today I am very proud to have passed Maths with 70% and Life Science with 72%. IkamvaYouth is a programme aiming at helping pupils with their future, and this year I am going to study Geological Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and also give back to this programme by becoming a tutor.
Despite challenges including lacking access to electricity, water and sanitation, as well as Maths and Physics teachers, the Joza branch just outside of Grahamstown achieved an 81% pass (33% bachelor and 24% diploma). Khonaye Mpofana joined IkamvaYouth when he was in grade 11, as he had poor results in grade 10, and was unsure about his post-school career options. He is now celebrating being one of the top matric achievers at his school, and is going on to study Psychology at Rhodes university.
Here’s a graph comparing Ikamvanites bachelor passes against the national averages in the Eastern Cape:
Learners from the class of 2015 are going on to study a range of important fields that will equip them with the skills they need to build South Africa, including medicine, engineering, social work, and Information Technology. In addition, they are also committed to paying forward the support they received; and many of them are returning to volunteer as tutors, and uplift more learners as they rise.
IkamvaYouth has maintained a matric pass rate of between 80 and 100% each year since 2005, and true credit for these results must go to the learners, volunteers, the staff, partner organisations and donors.
“IkamvaYouth would like to express particular thanks to our remarkable volunteers and IkamvaYouth’s five largest donors in 2015: Amalgamated Beverage Industries, Omidyar Network, Capitec Bank, Montpelier Foundation and ELMA Foundation. Without these and all of the other wonderful donors, these results would not be possible. We appreciate your support hugely and are looking forward to continuing to working with you in the years to come,” says chairperson Leigh Meinert.
For more information on IkamvaYouth, please see our 2014 Annual Report. If you would like to donate to IkamvaYouth, please do so via Given Gain or Global Giving or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This video is for you, our supporters. Thank you for being a part of IkamvaYouth!
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