Matriculants in the Southern Free State emerged as among the top achievers in the 2016 year end results thanks to academic enrichment classes offered by young engineers at Denel.
The Xhariep District is one of the poorest parts of South Africa – yet it produced the second best results in the entire country from being number 78 in 2015 and thus contributed greatly towards the Free State chalking up a 93.2% pass rate for the National Senior Certificate and being the highest performing district in the Free State.
In mid-2016 Denel responded to a request from the Free State Education Department to host winter camps and enrichment programmes to adequately prepare the matriculants for the year end examinations.
“We are exceptionally proud of the contribution we have made to help the Xhariep matriculants achieve these outstanding results,” says Zwelakhe Ntshepe, the Acting CEO of Denel. “This initiative demonstrated how a state-owned company such as Denel can work together with the education authorities and communities to reach national goals.”
In July engineers from three Denel companies offered academic enrichment classes in towns such as Trompsburg, Zastron, Fauresmith and Olien. During a four day period they focused on maths subjects such as calculus and geometry and taught science courses in mechanics and chemistry.
Just prior to the start of the matric exams the Denel team went back for a “final push” programme during the October holidays.
“Many of our young engineers come from rural communities and disadvantaged backgrounds and welcome opportunities to give back to society and share their knowledge and experience,” says Ntshepe.
Among the Denel professionals who were responsible for teaching were Jappie Monele, Neo Motshologane, Richmond Malinga, Mmakwena Ramatshela and Moorosi Motake, all employed by Denel Dynamics, South Africa’s leading designer and manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles and missile systems; Mike Dlulane and Murendani Randima work at Denel Landward Solutions, Sibusiso Nkosi at Denel Aviation and Suna Kotole is a professional engineer at Denel PMP.
Ntshepe says Denel will build on the 2016 matric success and extend its educational support programmes to other districts in the Free State and more provinces. “We see this as an opportunity to contribute our skills and experience in vital science and technology subjects and contribute to the ability of learners to continue with further studies,” he says.
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