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Grade 12 learners getting ready for their Saturday
Classes on the Westville campus.

Saturday classes introduced for Grade 12 pupils in February by UKZN’s College of Law and Management Studies in partnership with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) have again proved to be a great success and will continue until the end of September.

One of the main goals of the initiative is to encourage more African youngsters to study for a career in Accounting.

SAICA’s Project Manager responsible for Transformation and Growth, Mr Xolela Sohuma, says subjects taught are Mathematics, Physical Science, Accounting and English.

The programme also offers training in life skills such as how to apply for admission to university and for bursary support.

The Association of Mathematic Educators in South Africa (AMESA) assists with the provision and selection of suitable tutors.

‘This year we planned for a maximum of 200 Grade 12 learners but due to the demand and the need for this type of support and intervention we had to open it up to 340 learners,’ said Sohuma. 

‘Last year’s UKZN and SAICA Saturday Classes Initiative was a resounding success with a 100% pass rate in the final Grade 12 results in Mathematics, however, two learners only managed to get just above 50% indicating there was still room for improving methods to support learners.

‘After several meetings between AMESA, UKZN and SAICA, where we were looking for ways to better our support to learners, it became clear that apart from providing academic support,  account needed to be taken of the circumstances that some learners face at home, including poverty,’ said Sohuma.

‘We all agreed the programme needed to introduce a feeding scheme to provide learners with at least one meal a day and this was done. Not only did this improve class attendance but also performance. Learners were more focused and motivated to participate in classes and engage in vigorous discussions with one another, even during breaktime.’

The programme relies heavily on the support of Ernst & Young Services (Pty) Ltd. ‘Sponsoring the SAICA Saturday classes at UKZN is something we view as critical to changing the pass rate of students from disadvantagd communities across KwaZulu-Natal,’ said HR Manager at Ernst & Young, Mr Jeremy Beukes.’ We are proud to partner with SAICA to change the landscape of education and maths proficiency in this country.’

Ms Hazel Langa of the College of Law and Management Studies said: ‘This project is viewed by the College as a strategic initiative aimed at assisting Grade 12 leaners with meeting the high university entrance requirements – the project is one of the contributors to the College meeting its undergraduate enrolment targets this year.’

* For more details about the UKZN and SAICA Saturday Classes and the Winter School, contact Mr Xolela Sohuma at xolelas@saica.co.za  or phone 031-266 2672 or 082 962 0305.