True Grit – Engen salutes its 2021 matric class 

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Resilient. Courageous. Determined. Words that suitably describe the Engen Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) matric class of 2021. 

Overcoming Covid related grief, lockdown induced class disruptions, and the added stress and anxiety of social unrest, 64% of the 429 EMSS learners who sat their matric final examinations attained bachelor passes, proving yet again the crucial role of the Engen supported supplementary maths and science programme.  

The Engen Maths and Science Schools have run for over 30 years, and offer underprivileged grade 10-12 learners free supplementary Maths, Science and English tuition on Saturdays at ten locations across South Africa. 

These 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, Howard College, and Mangosuthu University of Technology. 

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.  

“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,” comments Nyawera. 

The EMSS programme’s crucial role and relevance was highlighted after recent statistics from the Department of Basic Education (DBE) indicated that while there was a slight improvement in the national mathematics performance in 2021, there is still a long way for South Africa to go.  

According to the DBE, the mathematics pass rate increased from 65.8% in 2020, to 69% in 2021. Conversely, the science results declined slightly from 75.5% in 2020 to 74.7% in 2021. 

Engen will host a series of awards ceremonies in February at the various EMSS centres across Souh Africa where the Grade 10-12 learners will be honoured and the top achievers named. 

“While Engen is extremely proud of all the 2021 matriculants, I must make special mention of, and commend the incredible results attained by the EMSS’s top five achievers in 2021,” says Nyawera.  

The top-national achiever, Saeeda Bint-Imran Norath attended the EMSS programme from grade 10-12 at Fairvale High School in KZN. Saeeda’s hard work resulted in English and Maths marks of 93% and 95% for Science. She plans to follow her dream of becoming an occupational therapist.   

The second best performing EMSS matric nationally was Tia Pillay who attended the EMSS programme at Ganges High School in KZN. Tia achieved 93% for English, 90% for Science and 87% for Maths, and plans to study Dentistry at the University of Western Cape. 

Iva Aphelele Ncubukezi, from Cala in the Eastern Cape finished third overall, achieving an incredible 99% for Science, 88% for Maths and 81% for English. Hailing from Cala in the rural Eastern Cape, Iva plans to study Medicine this year at Walter Sisulu University. 

Fourth overall was Moebeen Seadon who attended the EMSS programme at Belgravia High School in Cape Town. Moebeen achieved 92% for maths, 91% for science and 84% for English, and plans to study electrical and computer engineering at the University of Cape Town in 2022.   

Jubilee Dongo, an alumnus of Masibambane College in Orange Farm in Gauteng, finished 5th overall, achieving 9 distinctions, including an impressive 96% for mathematics and 88% for science. Jubilee is enrolled to study Actuarial Science at Wits University in 2022. 

“Starting off 34 years ago as Engen Saturday Schools, EMSS remains central to Engen’s efforts to contribute to the growth and transformation of South Africa,” continues Nyawera, adding that “the programme has worked tirelessly to help transform young underprivileged people’s lives, with a focus of creating a diverse and vibrant workforce.” 

Nyawera says Engen is also incredibly proud of the EMSS learners who completed matric in 2021, despite extremely trying circumstances. 

“Well done to all for showing true grit and determination! 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. 

“Engen is committed to building tomorrow’s leaders and if we want to ensure that the youth of tomorrow are prepared for a rapidly changing world, we need to ensure that they have the right mix of skills, for them to reach their full potential,” concludes Nyawera. #Engencares