Matriculants across the country who attended enrichment classes and spring camps offered by Denel are looking forward with great confidence to the coming year-end exams.
They expect to follow in the footsteps of young achievers in the past that benefited from extra classes and additional tuition on weekends and holidays offered by employees of the defence and technology company.
Attention is primarily focused on maths and science and more than 160 matriculants in six provinces participated in the Denel Schools Outreach programme this year. With over 400 learners attending youth camps in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.
“Our 2017 programme is built on solid foundations of success,” says Zwelakhe Ntshepe, the Acting Group CEO of Denel. Last year, Denel responded to a request from the Free State education department to offer enrichment classes in the Xhariep District, one of the poorest parts of the country. It then organised winter camps and additional tuition to enable the matriculants to prepare adequately for the final exams.
The Denel initiative helped the district to achieve the second best results in the entire country – up from 78th place the year before.
Previous programmes have resulted in pass rates of more than 95% in the end of year exams with more than 60% of learners gaining university entrance in science and technology-related courses.
Ntshepe says many of the young engineers at Denel come from rural or disadvantaged backgrounds. They welcome opportunities to give back to society through the teaching and mentoring of young learners.
In July Denel hosted youth camps at its Kempton Park campus and in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape. During the two-week period they received solid tuition in science and maths within a stimulating environment where the teaching was accompanied by workplace experiences. The Gauteng camp was attended by 244 learners from high schools in the province, Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo while 200 Eastern Cape learners participated in Queenstown.
“We are exceptionally proud of the contribution Denel is making to improve educational outcomes and enable matriculants to continue with their studies at tertiary level,” says Ntshepe. “This is a great example of how state-owned companies add value to broader society by investing resources in education and training.”