Johannesburg, Tuesday 20 June 2017 – One would think that most matrics spend their winter holidays relaxing, having fun and forgetting about school, but for 3 000 learners who have shown a particular aptitude for mathematics will do something completely different this year. They will spend their time exercising their brains at development camps held by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) around the country. These annual camps are just another way SAICA is working to address the quality of South Africa’s education system.
SAICA sees itself as a key stakeholder of the country – one with a vested interest in improving the quality of education, especially in mathematics. It has turned this strategic priority into action. For the past 15 years, SAICA has been offering academically talented, yet financially disadvantaged, Gr 12 learners additional academic support over the winter school holidays through its provincially-run SAICA Development Camps.
Each camp lasts five to seven days and provides learners with extra lessons to improve their mathematics, science, accounting and English aptitude. Learners are also offered life skills training and career information to help them make wise and appropriate career choices.
Senior Executive: Transformation & Growth, Gugu Makhanya explains why SAICA has undertaken this task: ‘When it comes to scarce-skill professions like medicine, engineering, actuarial science and chartered accountancy, the pool of learners who are academically talented enough to apply is a small one. The percentage of those learners who are black or coloured is even smaller. It is therefore essential that SAICA does what it can to assist and to grow the pipeline of the disadvantaged learners who wish to study towards a career in chartered accountancy.’
Makhanya continues: ‘Collaborating with key partners in the provincial departments of education, members of the accounting profession, representatives from universities and institutions such as the Financial Services Board, as well as various other professions, SAICA’s aim is to help improve learner proficiency in subjects like mathematics and science in order, ultimately, to improve the quality of passes that high school learners achieve in these subjects. We also find that, due to the mock exams learners participate in at the camps, they are better prepared for their final matric exams later in the year.’
Camp attendees shine in matric exams
This, Makhanya says, is evident when you analyse the matric results of past camp attendees.
SAICA’s records reveal that camp attendees are often at the top of the matric results list at the end of the year.
For example, in 2016, Mpumalanga Development Camp attendee Busisiwe Sibiya, achieved six distinctions in her final matric exams. Sbongiseni Zondi, who attended the KwaZulu-Natal Development Camp, scored three distinctions and achieved full marks for accounting.
‘We expect similar results from the leaners who will be attending this year’s camps,’ adds Makhanya excitedly.
More than 3 000 learners are expected to participate in the 2017 SAICA Development Camps which run between 30 June and 22 July for most provinces and between 1 and 7 October for the Northern Cape and additional Gauteng learners:
|Province||Date||Camp Address||Contact person|
|01 – 07 July||Emakhazeni Boarding School Machadodorpfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|09 – 15 July||Emakhazeni Boarding School Machadodorp|
|30 June – 7 July||Edendale Independent School
|9 – 14 July||The Cape Academy for Maths and Science
|2 – 7 July||University of Limpopo Polokwaneemail@example.com|
|2 – 7 July||University of Venda
|3 – 8 July||UKZN
|firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com|
|9 – 15 July||Potch Boys High School Potchefstroomfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|28 June – 7 July||Sumcay Camping Centre
|13 – 22 July||Walter Sisulu University
|17 – 22 July||University of the Free State
|1 – 7 October||Venue: TBCemail@example.com|
|Gauteng Gr 11 camp
|1 – 7 October||Edendale Independent School
Members of the profession or the media who wish to visit the camps to see them in action and interact with the remarkable learners who attend them, may contact Karin Iten on 011 621 6913 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nwabisa Tsengiwe on 011 621 6878 (email: email@example.com) to set up a visit.
Learners from disadvantaged areas around the country are chosen to attend the SAICA Development Camps based on academic performance: they must have scored a minimum of 60% in mathematics and English. Learners receive assistance intended to help them produce similarly high quality matric passes and set them on the path to study towards key professions such as accounting, engineering, commerce and the sciences.
The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 40 000 members who are chartered accountants [CAs(SA)] and hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in their spheres of business operation. Most of these members operate in commerce and industry, and play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development.
About the Thuthuka Bursary Fund and Education Upliftment Project:
One of SAICA’s prime goals is to contribute towards strengthening the country’s economy by playing a significant and leading role in transformation and skills development. The Thuthuka Education Upliftment Project, a pioneering initiative to promote transformation in the profession, was launched in the Eastern Cape in 2002 and is fast growing into a national project.
Thuthuka’s objective is to transform the demographics of the profession to reflect those of the country in terms of race and gender, and provide educational support to African learners and students for the benefit of the profession, while simultaneously helping to uplift communities. Therefore, SAICA prides itself in leading the chartered accountancy profession as a socially responsible driver of business and skills development by supporting and encouraging enterprise development initiatives.
SAICA Media Contact
Ms Karin Iten
Project Manager: Marketing and Communications
SAICA Nation Building Division
Tel: 011 621 6913
Ms Nwabisa Tsengiwe
Senior Executive: Marketing, Communication and PR
SAICA Nation Building Division
Tel: 011 621 6878