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31 Oct 2014 00:00
Promaths has seven centres across the country, catering to 3 300 pupils each year
Investec dedicates 46% of its entire corporate social investment budget to programmes that build science,
technology, engineering and maths (Stem) learning.
Its ProMaths programme was
a finalist in the 2013 Investing in the Future Education Award, and this year
it came out tops for its sustained support and clear evidence of the results pupils
are showing in their pass marks.
ProMaths is operated in
partnership with the Kutlwanong Maths, Science and Technology Centre. The
programme offers extra maths and science tuition for grade 10, 11 and 12 pupils.
“We recognise that
increasing the numbers of high-calibre university graduates is ultimately
dependent on a solid secondary school education, as well as maths and science
support initiatives extended to students while at university,” said Setlogane
Manchidi, head of the Investec CSI programme.
“Our intention is to
contribute towards the development of professionals and future leaders who not
only become active economic participants in society, but also contribute to the
upliftment of others.”
The programme was
initially piloted in Soweto in 2005 and has produced amazing results over the past
nine years, proving it to be one of the most successful high school maths and
science interventions in the country.
Since its launch it has spread
to seven centres across the country, catering to 3 300 pupils annually.
Recognising that the
subjects taught are only as good as the teachers imparting that knowledge, ProMaths
is supplemented by Investec’s support of the Independent Schools of South
Africa teacher internship initiative to develop maths, English and science
“We annually collate the
results of all our beneficiaries and get a sense of how well our teacher
interns are doing though their academic results,” said Manchidi. “We also
commission independent reviews of our initiatives.”
The ultimate motivation
behind supporting these programmes, he said, is the need within corporate South
Africa to be able to access well-educated individuals in order for their
businesses to succeed.
“Education is equally
important for the long-term economic growth prospects of our country.
Short-term requirements demand tertiary education skills, but in the longer
term, the schooling system should generate pupils who are competent in English,
maths and science with an aspiration to proceed beyond matric,” he said.
This forms the base that
allows the country’s youth to make informed career decisions, access tertiary
education and pursue qualifications in the financial sector.
A recent study by CSI
consultancy Trialogue on the success of the ProMaths programme showed that more
than 80% of pupils said their marks had improved since starting it, with half
reporting improvements in their marks of 30% to 50%.
An important indicator of
the opportunities this presents is that 96% said they wished to further their
studies by attending university.
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