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BizTrends 2018

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Engen Maths and Science Schools beat average matric pass rate by 17.4%

The 2012 class of the Engen Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) achieved a pass rate of 90.3%, beating the national average pass rate by 17.4%, proving the success of this private sector initiative to help learners achieve good maths and science matric results across four provinces in South Africa.
"Engen is once again proud and delighted to have given so many bright young people the chance to pursue their dreams of working in maths- and science-related fields. We are proud of the class of 2012 and wish them all the best in their forthcoming studies and careers," said Khanyisa Balfour, manager of corporate social investment (CSI) of Engen.

EMSS is a national initiative that aims to assist learners who show potential and interest in the maths and science fields with extra tuition to pass matric maths and science, and, potentially, qualify for further education and training, as well as skilled employment. The programme seeks to address a key skills shortage in the engineering and technical fields in South Africa and to provide sustainable solutions for Engen's neighbouring communities.

The EMS schools initiative assists learners from Grades 10, 11 and 12 through highly skilled teachers, supplementary educational material and by providing learners with extra academic support. About 2000 learners a year from Grades 10 to 12 participate in the EMSS, of which a total of 754 EMSS learners wrote the Grade 12 NSC in 2012.

New school

Engen recently opened its newest EMS school in KwaZulu-Natal, at Ganges Secondary School, Merebank, which brings to nine the total of maths and science schools positioned strategically at higher institutions across the country. Engen also has classrooms at Zakariya Park Secondary in Gauteng, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in the Western Cape, the Mangosuthu Institute of Technology in Umlazi (Mantech), KwaZulu-Natal, the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Howard Campus), Fairvale Secondary School in KwaZulu-Natal, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, University of Fort Hare in East London and Cala High School in the Eastern Cape.

  • The Western Cape had a pass rate of 82.8% while the EMSS in the province had a pass rate of 88%.
  • The classes at Cala, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape had pass rates of 71%, 100% and 100% respectively, all well above the provincial pass rate of 61.6%.
  • Gauteng's pass rate was 83.9%, while the EMSS in Gauteng had a 100% pass rate.
  • In KwaZulu-Natal, the EMS schools at Howard, Fairvale and Ganges, as well as Mantech had pass rates of 91%, 96%, 92% and 75%, respectively, compared to the KZN pass rate of 73.1%.
  • The EMSS learners achieved a total of 90 distinctions with 26 being achieved in mathematics, 35 in physical science and 29 in English. This excludes Mantech distinctions as data is still being compiled.
  • While the national rate for learners who attained a Bachelors pass (allowing them to go to university) was 26.6%, 60.3% of the EMSS Class of 2012 can go to university.

The EMSS pass rate dropped by 6% from 2011 to 2012, due to the introduction of new poorly performing schools as identified by the district administrations in Cape Town and East London to the programme. There was also an influx of new students thanks to the new school in Ganges and new learners being placed in the Grade 12 class, who were not part of the programme for the full three years.