EMSS Zakarriya Centre's top learners, Tshilidzi Ramudzuli Ravhutulu, Morgan Karabo Ngwenya and Ondwela Mathabi.

Engen Maths and Science School celebrates top Gauteng learners

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The Engen Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) 2023 matric class in Gauteng has achieved flying colours.

Engen celebrated the effort and sacrifice of the top learners at an awards ceremony at the Zakarriya Park Centre on 3 February 2024.

Orange Farm’s Tshilidzi Ramudzuli Ravhutulu, a Leshata Secondary School alumnus, achieved five distinctions, including 96% for Mathematics and 98% for Physical Science, earning him a coveted spot to study Actuarial Science at the University of the Witwatersrand.

The EMSS programme focuses on providing extra tuition in “gateway” subjects such as mathematics and science.

Explains Engen’s CSI Manager, Olwethu Mdabula: “These subjects 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 2023 matriculants, I must make special mention of, and commend the incredible results attained by our top achievers,” adds Mdabula.

Lenasia South resident, Morgan Karabo Ngwenya, an alumnus from Southview High achieved an incredible 7 distinctions in matric, including 95% for mathematics and 81% for English and Science. These marks have secured him a spot at North West University, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics.

Lenasia resident and Southview High School alumnus, Ondwela Mathabi achieved an incredible 90% in mathematics which secured him a spot at Wits University this year, to study a BSc in computer science.

EMSS seeks to harness the potential of talented young people to help boost the pool of scarce skills in the country.

“The programme is a lifeline for these students, offering them the resources and guidance necessary to achieve academic excellence and pursue higher education.”

The recently released Department of Basic Education (DBE) technical report reveals encouraging improvements in the pass rates for mathematics and physical science, with mathematics increasing from 55% in 2022 to 63.5% in 2023.

However, a concerning aspect is that out of the 166 337 learners who passed maths, only

41 273 achieved a mark of 60% and above, which is the minimum qualifying maths mark for university entrance to engineering, commerce and science degrees.

Engen CSI Manager Olwethu Madabula with top learners Tshilidzi Ramudzuli Ravhutulu, Morgan Karabo Ngwenya and Ondwela Mathabi, and Godfrey Vilikazi, Engen CMO.

“This data underscores the invaluable role that EMSS plays in providing crucial support to young learners, particularly those demonstrating potential in STEM subjects,” says Mdabula.

In addition to mathematics, the pass rate for physical science also showed a positive trend, rising from 74.6% to 76.2%; however, only 35 468 learners achieved a mark of 60% and above, emphasising the continued need for initiatives like EMSS to bolster education in this critical subject.

“By providing extra tuition in gateway subjects like English, Mathematics and Physical Science, the programme strives to bridge the educational gap and empower students to reach their full potential,” affirms Mdabula.

Engen will host a series of awards ceremonies in February at 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 Cape Peninsula University of Technology and Manzombotho High), Eastern Cape (East London, Cala, and Gqeberha), Johannesburg (Zakariyya Park Combined School), and KwaZulu-Natal (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 Mdabula.

“The programme, with over 1 500 learners registered annually, continues to work tirelessly to help transform young people’s lives, with a focus on creating a diverse and vibrant workforce.”

Robert Hermanus, Chief Director Office Education Department; Zaheera Vally, physics teacher; Shirley Madanlal, English teacher; Tobias Dwakama, maths teacher; Olwethu Madabula, Engen CSI Manager; Godfrey Vilikazi, Engen Chief Marketing Officer; Phelokazi Nondanyana, Engen Education Specialist; Naazim Adam, EMSS Coordinator with Zakarriya Centre’s top achievers.

Engen is incredibly proud of all EMSS learners who completed matric in 2023, often despite extremely trying circumstances.

As a company, Engen champions the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 4 – Quality Education, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

“Engen is keenly aware that access to quality education and gender equality is everybody’s business, and that it owes it to its employees, customers, and broader society to make every effort to drive positive change.

“It is Engen’s ultimate reward to help set talented people up to pursue stimulating careers that won’t only benefit them personally, but also their families and the broader economy of South Africa,” concludes Mdabula.