Despite over 200 days of power cuts and being the hardest hit by the pandemic when it broke in their Grade 10 year, the Engen Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) matric class of 2022 achieved flying colours.
Engen held an awards ceremony at Buffalo City High School to honour Grade 10-12 learners and name the top Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS) achievers who attended the East London Centre.
Engen’s manager of Transformation and Stakeholder Engagement, Dr James Nyawera explains that the EMSS programme focuses specifically on providing extra tuition in “gateway” subjects such as mathematics and science; subjects which are considered critical in addressing the country’s technical and engineering skills shortage as well as spurring economic growth and development.
“While Engen is extremely proud of all the 2022 matriculants, I must make special mention of, and commend the incredible results attained by some of our top achievers from our East London EMSS Centres,” says Nyawera.
Top achiever, Sibulele Natuse from Duncan Village obtained 7 distinctions for matric and a coveted place to study Medicine at the University of Cape Town this year. An alumnus of Lumko High School, Sibulele achieved 92% for Maths, 84% for Physical Science and 91% for English.
In second place was Aphelele Zenani from Haven Hills South. An alumnus of Lumko High School in East London, he scored seven distinctions and a coveted place at the University of Cape Town to study Electrical and Computer Engineering. Aphelele notched up an impressive 93% for mathematics and 89% for science for matric.
In third place, Sisonke Madubedube from Mdatsane and an alumnus of Philemon Ngcelwane High School achieved 3 distinctions including 87% for Physical science and 82% for mathematics which earned him a place to study computer Science at University of Cape Town.
Dr Nyawera explains that the EMSS programme focuses specifically on providing extra tuition in “gateway” subjects such as mathematics and science.
“These subjects are considered critical in addressing the country’s technical and engineering skills shortage as well as spurring economic growth and development,” says Nyawera.
“The EMSS programme seeks to harness the potential of talented young people in difficult circumstances and to also contribute to the pool of scarce skills in the country,” he adds.
The EMSS programme’s crucial role and relevance was highlighted after recent statistics from the Department of Basic Education (DBE) indicated that more learners are opting to write maths literacy, which increased by 108 642 learners between 2020 and 2022 compared to pure maths, which only increased by 36 419 learners over that time.
Pupils who passed pure maths also dipped from 57.6% in 2021 to 55% in 2022.
Engen will host a series of awards ceremonies in February at the various EMSS centres across South Africa where the programme’s Grade 10-12 learners will be honoured, and the top achievers named.
These centres include Cape Town (classes are held at Belgravia and Manzombotho High), Port Elizabeth, East London, Cala and Johannesburg, and in KwaZulu-Natal where classes sit at Fairvale High School, Ganges High School, Hillview High School and Umlazi Commercial High School.
“Starting off in the late 1980’s as Engen Saturday Schools, EMSS remains central to Engen’s efforts to contribute to the growth and transformation of South Africa,” continues Nyawera.
“The programme has worked tirelessly to help transform young underprivileged people’s lives, with a focus of creating a diverse and vibrant workforce.”
Engen is incredibly proud of all EMSS learners who completed matric in 2022, often despite extremely trying circumstances.