Take off the jacket of failure and put on the jacket of success because you are now afforded a second opportunity to do better in your studies.
This was the message of Ms Nokwanda Siyengo, Director of SciMathUS, in addressing parents and students at the SciMathUS opening ceremony which was held on Monday (5 February 2018).
Siyengo said: “Out of the 700 students that applied to be in this programme, only 107 were accepted, so I think you should be proud of yourselves for making it this far."
The SciMathUS programme forms part of a variety of units within the Faculty of Education at Stellenbosch University (SU) and specifically in the SU Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP). The programme annually offers 100 learners, who have already passed Grade 12 but do not qualify for higher education, a second opportunity to improve their NSC results in specific subjects to enable them to re-apply for university programmes.
Dr Trevor van Louw, SUNCEP Director, said the programme is a success because of hard work and dedication shown by staff and students.
Franzelle Adriaanse, from Eersterivier said her daughter Logan (18), has always been a top student at her school, “I have no doubt about her making this year a success and using every opportunity presented to her.
“I have never been separated from my daughter, but after the presentations today I know I can rest assured knowing that she is in good and capable hands. They have done it for so many other kids in the past and will certainly do the same for my daughter."
Students Tshepiso Maseko, Mohale Rabapane and Boitshepo Nchabeleng have travelled from as far as Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Limpopo respectively to be part of this programme.
Tshepiso Maseko, from Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, said: “I am feeling a bit nervous, but I will take everything as it comes; apart from excelling in my studies I am excited about mingling with different people and learning about their cultures and the different ways of doing things. I wish to study medicine after my year in this programme."
Students have the opportunity to improve their NSC marks in Mathematics and Physical Sciences. They can also choose to do Accounting and Introduction to Economics.
As in previous years, the 2017 intake also performed well in the 2017 NSC examination – there were eight distinctions in Mathematics and 23 in Physical Sciences. In the group of 93 students, 83 obtained more than 60% in Mathematics. In Physical Sciences 55 students from the 2017 group achieved more than 60%.
Since its inception in 2001, more than 1 100 students have successfully completed the programme.