Promaths is a programme offered by the Kutlwanong Centre. The programme, funded by Investec, provides extra tuition in Maths and Science to grade 10 to 12 learners to boost their performance in these subjects. During classes, attention is given to topics that teachers may not have had the time to explain in the classroom, and learners are helped with problem chapters.
In total, 450 learners from Philippi and surrounding townships have been attending classes on weekends (in Philippi), presented by the Kutlwanong Centre. See a breakdown of these attendance rates below.
Attendance of Saturday classes: 150 grade 10 learners
After discussing their attendance with them, it became clear that these learners understand how their willingness to sacrifice directly determines their level of success. In addition, they realise that if they make small sacrifices, they will only ever achieve small success.
Attendance on Saturdays and Sundays: 150 grade 11 learners
These learners understand that to reach an enormous goal, like getting distinctions in Mathematics and Physical Sciences (the two subjects rated as most difficult by many learners in the country), they need to make enormous sacrifices. They understand how, if they are lazy and cut corners, they will receive results that mirror that low level of commitment.
Attendance on weekends, school holidays and public holidays: 150 grade 12 learners
The learners shared with us how they understand that if they seriously commit to achieving greatness and experiencing true success, they will need to give up many things that others will not. Even though they started their lives in unfortunate circumstances, these learners are willing to do whatever it takes to experience massive growth and success.
The Promaths journey continues through Alumni participation
The Promaths journey does not end when learners matriculate. Promaths Alumni is a network of professionals that aims to connect and engage with students in their final year of study, as well as those who have started working. Promaths Alumni's four pillars are: Support, Connect, Motivate and Empower.
Volunteer Alumni members at Stellenbosch University (SU) have formed an executive committee to help the programme become self-sustainable. The aim of the committee is to provide a support structure to younger students who are facing the same challenges and to help them overcome these.
High school learners are bombarded with information to apply and attend a college or university. Sharing personal experiences with them can help SU stand out among the never-ending choices. Choosing a university can be hard: students are trying to figure out where they fit in, where they want to go in life, and which university will help them get there, among other aspects.
On 18 May 2019, six Promaths Alumni students shared their experiences about our campus and the experiences that made their time at SU truly outstanding. They were able to offer a unique and valuable perspective to prospective students, adding a much-needed personal touch.
The student ambassadors emphasised the following positive factors related to SU:
- Endless opportunities.
- Stellenbosch being a university town.
- Stellenbosch looking for students who have a passion for learning, a deep intellectual curiosity, and the preparation to succeed in the demanding academic environment.
Some of the questions asked by the learners were:
- What are the general admission requirements?
- Is writing the NBTs required?
- What qualities should prospective students have?
- What is the standard timeline regarding receiving notification on the status of my application?
- What is the likelihood I would get a job when I graduated if I went to Stellenbosch University?
- Will I be taught in Afrikaans?
- What is the average class size?
- What financial aid options are offered?
- Would l have a roommate or live alone?
- Are any programmes offered to help students adjust to Stellenbosch University?
- How are roommates selected?
The way forward
Visiting the Kutlwanong Centre in Philippi strengthened our relationship with Mr Nelson Poopedi (Principal). He agreed to introduce us to the other Kutlwanong Centre in Khayelitsha. The focus was getting the word out at the Philippi Centre and encouraging students to apply to Stellenbosch University.
The Centre for Student Recruitment and Career Advice (CSR) needs to use a different set of tools in order to attract quality students from disadvantaged communities. For one, we can save on operational costs by visiting one centre instead of visiting 20 schools. In the retention stage, we will focus on encouraging admitted students to enrol.