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!
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.
On the 26th of September, we held our Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Chris Hani High School in Makhaza. The event was well attended, with an audience of more than 300 people; among whom were IY staff, learners, volunteers, parents, alumni, board members and representatives of funders and sponsors.
The programme for the AGM consisted of the presentation and approval of the 2014 Audited Financial Statements; approving the appointment of Grant Thornton as our 2015 auditors; the appointment and ratification of 3 new board members, and the presentation of our 2014 Annual report.
“If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s not big enough”, was the message from one of the outstanding alumni, Sinethemba Kameni, who provided a heart-warming account of his journey with IkamvaYouth. We were encouraged by his and other alumni’s stories; the progress they have made in their lives, and their willingness to come back and inspire the learners who are making their own journey with IkamvaYouth. Zukile Keswa shared his philosophy that says, ‘In life you need to start somewhere’, emphasising that his life’s work is about the impact he is making in his community. This resonated with our findings that 65% of our learners want to come back and become tutors, as our director, Joy Oliver pointed out in her report.
The crowd was entertained by IkamvaYouth learners and tutors who performed moving songs, enthralling dance and inspiring poetry at various intervals during the AGM.
For detailed information on the event, please refer to the minutes accessible the following link: AGM minutes
Please see the attendance register on the following link: AGM attendance register
Day 1 of operations at the Mahikeng branch brought with it a sunny and exciting day for all of us as it was the first day meeting one another, from staff to volunteers and learners. After three weeks of intensive recruiting learners and tutors, tutoring session kicked off on Saturday the 15th of August 2015 at the Danville Secondary School main hall where the branch is officially based.All 52 Learners with 12 volunteers gathered at the new Ikamvayouth branch in Mahikeng at exactly 08h30amto experience the first ever tutoring session ontheir home soil.Seated in a circle they were waiting for the Programme Coordinator to explain to them what the day would entail. Before that, learners and tutors introduced themselves as it was the first time meeting and interacting with each other. The most number of learners who attended the program came from Setumo High School and Danville Secondary School.As this is a program – a first for IkamvaYouth -and not a fully fleshed branch with grades 9 – 12, IY’s Mahikeng branch only caters for grade 10 learners from nearby schools and commitment is highly expected. This enables us to create an impact that allows them to improve on their academics and lives for the better.Like our IY model indicates, learners are to be seated in groups of 5 with 1 tutor in a table assisting them with the challenges they are facing in their school subjects.
Lots of discussions were made and lots of laughter was shared on the day.We are really grateful to our host school for allowing us to use their space. The Principal and staff of Danville Secondary School have been more than welcoming. We are humbled by the warmth and cooperation received from the various community based stakeholders and parents who came in accompanying their children. Although the branch has not as yet been launched, the ball is officially rolling.
Comments from the tutors and learners
It was very challenging for me especially because I am not used to standing and speaking in front of a huge crowd. I did not know how to first approach them because naturally I am a shy person, but as the day progressed, I was fine and had lots of fun.
It was quite interesting and fun. I cannot wait for more sessions to come.
The day was good but a little bit challenging especially because I had to remember what I had done years back in my school subjects. However, I really appreciate the fact that these learners take initiative and take the time to explain to us what they are finding challenging.
Kefilwe Moshe, 16(Learner)
I appreciate what Ikamvayouth is doing for us. The program keeps us away from the streets and helps us to focus more on our academics. I really learnt a lot on my first day. The tutors were also friendly, and it made me interact with them better and understand better.
Palesa Sebothenyane, 17 (Learner)
I had lots of fun learning and meeting up with my fellow ikamvanites.
Watch the space for more exciting developments!
In January, along with hi-fives and star jumps, the ikamvanites were proud to announce an 82% pass for the class of 2014. Now, after finally gathering in the results for those writing supplementary exams, we’re thrilled to announce an overall 84% pass, with 85% eligible for tertiary institutions (50% bachelor and 34% diploma).
However, while a matric pass is difficult to obtain (especially for those attending schools where more than half of learners drop out before reaching matric), it is just the first of many hurdles that need to be cleared in the race towards a career that can catapult a family out of poverty.
Research has shown (Van der Berg & Broekhuizen, 2013) that unemployment for those with less than 12 years of schooling is 42%, while for matriculants it’s 29%. Those with non-degree tertiary education have an unemployment level of about 16%, while for people with a degree, unemployment is under 5%. The numbers of youth not in education, employment or training (NEETs) have increased over the last few years and currently sit at almost 34% of 15 – 24-year-olds in South Africa.
IkamvaYouth is thrilled to report that 85% of the 2014 matrics ARE in education, employment, or training (and not NEETs). Of the 244 learners who wrote matric in 2014:
49% are in tertiary institutions (30% at university and 19% at colleges)
18% have learnerships or jobs
18% are working to upgrade their matric results
These results are remarkable, especially given the norms and expectations of township youth. Beauty Komone , who attended the Ivory Park branch, says “I grew up in a disadvantaged family of seven where none of my three siblings (who are out of high school) have managed to get into tertiary. Tutoring and other programmes that are run by IkamvaYouth have boosted my performance and the way I perceive life. I am now at University studying information technology (IT)!”
Ikamvanites have chosen to study towards careers that will advance the country’s development. Of those enrolled in tertiary institutions (112 learners), 12% are studying engineering, 14% are studying IT, 18% are studying health sciences, and 34% are studying finance, business or entrepreneurship. We’re encouraged to see that 6% are studying education; our hope is for many more ikamvanites to build their careers by transforming South Africa’s education system.
Katlego Octivious is studying architecture, and Boitumelo Mahladisa is training to become a policeman and keep his community safe. We are particularly proud of Tiyiselani Mpangane, who was really struggling with her academics when she joined the Ebony Park branch in grade 10. After joining IkamvaYouth, her results have shot up remarkably; she achieved 6 distinctions for matric, and is studying actuarial science at UCT.
Most heartwarming and encouraging of all, 65% of the class of 2014 has indicated that they’ll be returning to volunteer as tutors at IkamvaYouth. They will ensure that the next cohorts of learners reach similar heights; and propel the virtuous cycle of ikamvanites paying-it-forward, pulling themselves and each other out of poverty.
We need your help to make the circle bigger: Get involved as a volunteer, or donate!
IkamvaYouth is very proud to announce that the average pass rate for its Amalgamated Beverage Industries (ABI) funded branches was 83%; smashing the national average of 75.8%. Of those who passed, 82% are eligible for tertiary education with 51% achieving a bachelor pass.
ABI and IkamvaYouth have a smart strategic partnership which has enabled IkamvaYouth to establish four branches (Umlazi in KZN, Ebony Park and Mamelodi in Gauteng, Ikageng in the North West Province). ABI’s staff have been actively involved in the branches; not only have they provided funding, but ABI employees have refurbished and upgraded branches and provided tutoring and mentoring to learners. “ABI has enabled IkamvaYouth to help disadvantaged learners get the best possible matric qualification so that they are well on the path to earning a dignified living,” says IkamvaYouth director, Joy Olivier.
One of the many examples of incredible achievement comes from Tiyiselani Mpangane, who joined the Ebony Park branch in 2012 as a grade 10 learner, when she was really struggling at school. Soon her results began to shoot up, and they didn’t stop! She got 6 distinctions, and has already been accepted to study medicine at UCT. This is an exceptional achievement: out of 200 first year UCT medical students, only ten are black. “I feel so proud, I feel so proud.. words can’t describe how excited I am for her, and I wish her and all these learners all the best in life”, says Nyasha Zvomuya, Branch Coordinator at Ebony Park, the most established of IkamvaYouth’s ABI-funded branches, where 91% of the class of 2014 have indicated that they want to return to IkamvaYouth to become volunteer tutors.
“IkamvaYouth is absolutely thrilled to have ABI’s support and looks forward to working with them in 2015 and beyond”, says Leigh Meinert, chairperson of IkamvaYouth.
“As we celebrate our fifth year with IkamvaYouth, I am thrilled that the sustained high performance of ‘Ikamvanites’ continue to ensure that ABI as a company remains committed to Education Development in our country. This partnership is worth every investment, especially since it gives more than just education but supplies a continued pool of inspired tutors that return to give back to IkamvaYouth. We are really proud of all ‘Ikamvanites’.” Tshidi Ramogase, Head of Corporate Affairs, ABI.