In 2016, 293 Grade 12 learners attended supplementary tuition as part of the HOPE@Maties programme in Mathematics, Accounting and Physical Sciences in the Western and Northern Cape. This programme is a first opportunity university preparation programme, offered by SUNCEP, the Centre for Pedagogy at Stellenbosch University (SU).
Amongst the group of 236 learners who attended the programme in the Western Cape, 39% of the participants passed the NSC examination with distinctions. The overall average of the group was 77,9%. Twenty nine percent (29%) of the learners obtained distinction for Mathematics while 33% achieved distinctions for Physical Sciences. In both these subjects, the average was 71,9%. In Accounting, the group average was 81,8% and 64% of the group received distinctions.
In the Northern Cape, the group's overall average was 79,6%. In Physical Sciences it was 76,9% and in both Mathematics and Accounting it was 80%. Just less than half of the group (49%) passed the NSC examinations with distinctions; 58% of the group obtained distinctions for Mathematics, 40% for Physical Sciences and 56% for Accounting.
Although learners may enrol in any institution for higher education, most of these learners chose to enrol at SU in 2017.
Dr Trevor van Louw, Director of SUNCEP and the person who initiated this programme a few years ago, said the success of this programme can be attributed to "[the] shear dedication of highly focused learners supported by their parents, school principals, teachers and tutors, officials from the two involved Education Departments as well the SUNCEP tutors. We are very proud of this group's performance. Congratulations to all of them".
Learners with an average of more than 70% at the end of Grade 11 are invited through their schools or education districts to become part of this programme when in Grade 12. These learners attend holiday schools during their matric year. The best educators in the different regions are nominated by the departments to offer the extra tuition to the learners.
With the assistance of the division for Student Recruitment at Stellenbosch University, the learners in this programme are assisted to make informed career choices and to apply for university admission in good time.
Learners who have not achieved the necessary results to enter higher education or who need better results to be considered for selection courses such as medicine, engineering or courses in other faculties, may apply to SciMathUS, SUNCEP's second opportunity university preparation programme. The closing date for applications is 22 January 2017.
For more information on both these programmes, please visit the centre's web site http://www.suncep.sun.ac.za or phone us at 021 8083030/2301/3483.
Photo: Nine former HOPE@Maties participants with Mr Lynthon Jacobs, programme manager at one of the the EMS SU graduation ceremonies in December 2016.