Johannesburg, Tuesday 30 January 2018 – In terms of education, one of the biggest drawbacks of South Africa’s rapid urbanisation is that, because of intellectual migration, good teaching becomes concentrated in the urban areas—leaving leaners in rural provinces exposed to ‘low quality’ teaching. This is particularly true in the Eastern Cape, where matric passes were the lowest in the country for the eighth year in a row.
Yet for one school in Cala, three organisations have come together to ensure that learners do not fall through this crack. In a way, this happened in the spirit of the old saying that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. In Cala, professionals ploughing back their skills and expertise back into the local community have become this ‘village’, thanks to a progressive partnership between the iKamvelihle Development Trust (iKDT), the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).
And what a difference this intervention has made. From a matric pass rate of just 50% in 2016, learners at Batandwa Ndondo Senior Secondary School recorded an 18% improvement in their 2017 matric results, with 67.6% of their learners passing. Even more impressive, the school’s matric learners collectively obtained 11 distinctions, and 12 achieved bachelor passes.
In terms of the support these learners received from SAICA, a spokesperson from the school says that most of the learners who achieved Bachelor passes attended SAICA’s Development Camp held in July last year.
Senior Executive: Transformation & Growth, Gugu Makhanya, explains how these camps work: ‘Our provincial camps exist to help improve learner proficiency in critical gateway subjects in order, ultimately, to improve the quality of passes and enable learners to pursue a tertiary education. By partnering with key stakeholders in the profession and education space, we provide learners with extra lessons to improve their mathematics, science, accounting and English aptitude. Learners also receive life skills training and career information to help them make wise and appropriate career choices. In so doing, these camps serve as a way for us to encourage African and Coloured learners to pursue scarce-skill professions like medicine, engineering, actuarial science and chartered accountancy. This is particularly important in areas like the Eastern Cape, where increasing access to university is a key strategic focus.’
‘We are extremely proud of the amazing achievement of these learners,’ adds Makhanya. ‘Seeing a massive improvement in matric results is one of the reasons why the SAICA and the profession run initiatives that capacitate learners with the skills they need to improve their lives.’
The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 40 000 members who are chartered accountants [CAs(SA)] and hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in their spheres of business operation. Most of these members operate in commerce and industry, and play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development.
About the Thuthuka Bursary Fund and Education Upliftment Project:
One of SAICA’s prime goals is to contribute towards strengthening the country’s economy by playing a significant and leading role in transformation and skills development. The Thuthuka Education Upliftment Project, a pioneering initiative to promote transformation in the profession, was launched in the Eastern Cape in 2002 and has grown into a national project. Thuthuka’s objective is to transform the demographics of the profession to reflect those of the country in terms of race and gender, and provide educational support to African learners and students for the benefit of the profession, while simultaneously helping to uplift communities. Therefore, SAICA prides itself in leading the chartered accountancy profession as a socially responsible driver of business and skills development by supporting and encouraging enterprise development initiatives.
SAICA Media Contact
Ms Karin Iten
Project Manager: Marketing and Communications
SAICA Nation Building Division
Tel: 011 621 6913
Ms Nwabisa Tsengiwe
Senior Executive: Marketing, Communication and PR
SAICA Nation Building Division
Tel: 011 621 6878