Words: Philippa Harvey
Capitec Bank, BHP Billiton, Samsung, Telkom Mobile, Studietrust, Tsogo Sun, The Events Production Company and Primestars launched the new season of eduCate, a nationwide matric math and science revision initiative in Johannesburg. The eduCate programme provides students from disadvantaged backgrounds matric revision tutoring in math and science at cinemas throughout the country, in the run-up to the matric exams.
eduCate, now in its fourth year, targets learners from disadvantaged backgrounds and aims to address the insecurities they might have as they prepare for their year-end exams, in doing so, contributing to an increase in the number of learners that excel in these subjects. The collaboration between the corporate sponsors, the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Science & Technology has proven to be a successful public/private partnership in the past with over 156,000 seats having been occupied by aspiring grade 12 learners, wishing to improve their chances of gaining the results required to qualify to study at tertiary institutions.
“At Capitec Bank we are very aware of the crucial role that the youth will play in our economic future and that the path to success starts with effective education and skills. This is why we participate in initiatives such as the educate Revision Programme which supports our vision to improve numeracy skills, to raise the throughput of learners with matric who eventually become employed and contributing to the economy. We are excited to be part of the Educate Revision Programme and wish the learners continued success” says Sbusiso Kumalo, Head of Corporate Affairs, Capitec Bank. “As one of the leading resourcing companies, BHP Billiton is proud to be a sponsor of the eduCate initiative which ensures the realisation of many young dreams. Our sponsorship is as part of BHP Billiton’s vision of resourcing the future. As a company we realise that opportunities created through maths and science can be life changing and therefore believe that the experiences of these learners will go a long way to fulfil their dreams of becoming scientists and engineers.” Says Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, BHP Billiton SA.
Michelle Potgieter, Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Samsung Electronics SA stated: “Samsung promotes the development of quality education and encourages math and science education at High School level. We understand the importance of positively contributing towards youth empowerment and are proud to be associated with agents of change such as eduCate, in making a sustainable difference in these learners’ lives. Math and science remains a fundamental part of increasing future opportunities and employment readiness of learners in South Africa.”
“Telkom is passionate about enhancing Maths and Science skills among students in South Africa. As a company in the technology sector we understand the positive contribution that students participating in the eduCate programme will have on the country’s economy,” commented Enzo Scarcella, Chief Marketing Officer at Telkom. “As more people get access to high speed data services, the more able they will be to access educational resources even in the remotest parts of the country. For this reason Telkom is also committed to supporting government’s objective to rollout broadband technology across communities in South Africa. We strive to provide students with products and services affordably that will enable them, through our technology, to access the numerous educational resources via the internet and other digital platforms.”
“The national bursary organisation Studietrust this year celebrates 40 years of combatting poverty through connecting potential and determination to educational opportunity. In 2013 we paid out in excess of R60 million as bursaries and loans to more than 1200 young South Africans. The following words from a 1992 Newsletter are still relevant for what we continue to do:
Over the years we aimed at saying YES to each child and young person around us. Yes to people who yearned to hear this word in contrast with the NO that since childhood so often fenced them in.
Our partnership with the eduCate Matric Revision programme is mutually beneficial: We get the opportunity to canvas deserving applicants from amongst the matriculants who through their participation demonstrate their commitment to a better future through education. The organisers and sponsors of eduCate at the same time know that participants will be inspired to look beyond the end of school to the opportunities that will be unlocked through the hard work they are putting in today.
As Studietrust we know what challenges go with the transitions – first the huge step-up required from school to university and then from year to year and eventually from study to work. Our student support programme – based on the three pillars of individual attention, belonging to a community of mutual care, and learning the personal leadership skills needed for success at higher education and beyond – is designed to walk the road with our beneficiaries and to ensure a year on year success rate of around 85%” – Dr Murray Hofmeyr , National Director, Studietrust.
“With one of the three pillars of Tsogo Sun’s CSI programme being Education, we are delighted to partner with PrimeStars and the stakeholders and sponsors of this initiative to bring this innovative programme to life and with the ability to reach so many young learners. Collaboration is the key to the success of initiatives such as this and is an integral part of our education development strategy,” says Vusi Dlamini, Human Resources Director of Tsogo Sun.
“As a truly home-grown South African company, The Event Production Company is thrilled and honoured to be associated with the Educate initiative. While we might pride ourselves on our achievements as one of South Africa’s pioneering companies in the event industry sector, we have never forgotten our humble roots, powered by the thrill of entrepreneurship - in the context of being prepared to become skilled, grasp opportunities and keep on learning, growing and developing. It is this spirit of growth, education and the willingness to be more than you are now, that we applaud all those involved in the Educate initiative. These include the visionaries, the supporters, the sponsors – and most importantly, the learners who are set to benefit. Thank you for the opportunity to participate and best of luck to the beneficiaries in your final exams; this is just the beginning of an exciting future,” Karen Ashwin - The Event Production Company.
Programmes like eduCate make an important contribution to address South Africa’s skills shortage. Learners who benefit through these programmes improve their chances of admission to tertiary institutions where they can study in fields like engineering, medicine and accounting. Martin Sweet, Managing Director stated that as facilitators of the “eduCate” initiative, Primestars Marketing is extremely proud to be involved in this Matric revision programme, especially as we have met and talked to a host of learners who have directly benefitted from this initiative. Past interaction with numerous learners at cinemas across the country has indicated that they find this learning environment stimulating and as a consequence, both concentration and message retention is increased and most importantly, their results are improved. It goes without saying that learners who do well in matric math and science will do well in tertiary institutions and follow on to play a much more meaningful role in the economy.
“We treasure our valued relationships with Capitec, BHP Billiton, Samsung, Telkom Mobile, Sasol Inzalo Foundation, Studietrust ,Tsogo Sun and The Event Production Company, especially for their warm friendship, vision, commitment and strong support of this important revision programme,” added Mr Sweet. Primestars Marketing extends their best wishes to all the Grade 12 learners all over the country for their 2014 matric math and science final examinations.
The eduCate initiative is also a link to an opportunity to further their studies through a partnership with the Sasol Inzalo Foundation and Studietrust. In the past 2 years Learners have been given an opportunity to apply for a bursary to further their studies through a full cost bursary should they meet the set criteria of the Sasol Inzalo Foundation bursary scheme. Sasol Inzalo sponsors learners in the fields of Engineering, BSC and teaching degrees for maths and science. When learners apply through the Studietrust application form they not only have an opportunity to target the Sasol Inzalo bursary Fund but will be reviewed for all the other bursaries in the Studietrust bursary fund database.
The eduCate initiative consists of revision sessions that are broadcast simultaneously to a network of 14 digitised cinemas across the country. Each of the 10 lessons on screen are supported by a workbook / toolkit. The 2014 sessions will run from 02 August for ten consecutive weeks. The initiative continues to expand year on year and for the first time the project will run in all nine provinces. The sessions are facilitated by subject matter specialists at each cinema who interact with the learners on the content that is broadcasted on the morning. They also address questions that the learners may have. The sessions and content are designed to engage and entertain learners as they study. This form of edutainment resonates well with learners. The eduCate programme has produced outstanding results and the students whom attended were ecstatic with their marks. Ribane-Laka, a secondary school in Mamelodi, Tshwane reported an increase of between 15% and 20% in their Grade 12 Math and Science results. Daniel Mokoena, a learner said, ”Now we have a clear picture of how to solve scientific and mathematical problems. You have given us the highest quality of education. Thank you also for the transport and the learning experience.”