Engen fuels maths and science
Two shining stars from the Engen Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) class of 2017 are on course to reach their dreams. Makyle Naidoo and Nokwenama Gumede (both 17 and from KwaZulu-Natal) proved the success of the Engen initiative, which aims to help address the key national skills shortages in engineering and other technical fields.
Naidoo, who came first in his matric class at Glenwood High School, took the top spot among the 555-strong EMSS class of 2017. He was followed closely by Gumede, a learner at Zwelibanzi High School in Umlazi, who notched up a distinction in each of her seven matric subjects.
Naidoo and Gumede are now at the start of their respective studies in actuarial science at the University of Cape Town and medicine at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
The nine EMSS schools across South Africa run classes in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. They provide a high-quality learning experience (including teaching and educational materials) for learners from Grade 10 to 12. Overall, the EMSS matric class of 2017 attained an impressive 94-percent pass rate.
Naidoo started attending the extra EMSS classes in matric and says they made a phenomenal difference to his marks.
“The teachers were really dedicated to helping us. They always went the extra mile and even lent us new textbooks to take home and gave us additional extra help when necessary.
“In the final matric maths and science papers, particularly, I saw huge benefit because the questions posed were the same kind of questions I’d been exposed to by the EMSS teachers, which prompted a different type of thought process,” he explains.
Gumede attended extra EMSS classes twice a week as she chased her dream of getting the results that would allow her to study to become a doctor. The EMSS classes helped her better understand important concepts and fill in the gaps in the syllabus her schoolteachers just could not hope to get to.
“It also helped me tremendously in class, because we’d do a chapter in the EMSS class before the teacher did it in school, so by then I already had a good understanding of it, and it gave me a chance to constantly revise what I was learning,” she says.
Gumede also spent time during her matric year helping fellow pupils who failed to make it into the EMSS programme.
“We are so incredibly proud of these learners, who epitomise the quality of the young people we work with around the country every year. Our ultimate reward is to help set them up to pursue stimulating careers that will benefit them personally and the economy of the country,” says Adhila Hamdulay, Engen’s corporate social investment manager.
“We strongly believe that we have a responsibility to help young people realise their full potential, and we feel enormously privileged to have played a role in their impressive achievements,” she says.