Rolling towards better matric results

Some of the project leaders are (front) Julia Ngomane, James Mdluli (sponsor), Sophy Nkosi, (back) Samkelo Mokoena, Ephraim Chiloane and Sifiso Chibi.

MBOMBELA – A group of university graduates from the KaBokweni area have taken it upon themselves to improve matric pass rates at their local schools.

Through the Rolling Stones mentoring project, Sifiso Chibi, Sophy Nkosi, Ephraim Chiloane, Samkelo Mokoena,Yaya Dube and Julia Ngomane, offer academic assistance in maths, science and accounting to matric pupils.

Every Saturday and school holidays, they meet with the pupils to offer them mentorship and tips on how to approach their studies.

“Our goal is to produce 100 per cent pass rates at all the schools. It will not be easy, but with dedication we believe it is possible,” he said.

According to one of the project leaders, Chibi, there was a number of these projects in the communities but they only prioritised pupils who were already excelling.

“We thought what about those were not doing well, who was going to offer academic assistance to them? That’s how the project started,” Chibi said.

Also read: Matric pass rates improves for inmates 

During the July school holidays, scores of matrics attended a camp hosted by the group. Deeply aware of the financial status of their communities, the project leaders decided to make attendance free and they approached local business people to help them to remunerate the part-time teachers they hired.

He added that, after doing inspections at local schools, they noticed that the three subjects were very complicated and the pupils were not doing well in them.

“The love of maths, science and accounting are slowly diminishing but these are the most important streams to help graduates hold down jobs in the job market,” he said.

They were also worried by the fact that pass rates in the three subjects were decreasing.

Also read: Pass your matric-exam with flying colours 

However, the project has many challenges. They need transport to take the pupils from the various communities to the hosting schools. They also need support in terms of catering to provide lunch to the pupils.

“We hope this can continue annually but we need funds and more assistance from the whole community,” he said.

He added that a shortage of funds was preventing them from recruiting more skilled teachers.

“We approached Norah Fakude from Buscor. She was very open to assisting us. She offered us transport and lunch on weekends and we are grateful for her assistance,” he said.

They also received sponsorship from Nedbank KaBokweni, local businessman James Mdluli, and Sandile Shongwe.

Trevor Hlungwani

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