This school holiday, over 2 500 grade 11 and 12 learners will attend the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (SAICA) annual Development Camps to harness their academic potential and produce the quality pass rates needed to study degrees leading towards South Africa’s much needed professions of high demand.
60 local students will attend their accounting camp at the Sumcay Camping Centre in Port Elizabeth from 17 to 21 June.
As a key stakeholder with a vested interest in improving the quality of education in the country, SAICA’s Development Camps aim to grow the pipeline of disadvantaged African and coloured learners who are eligible to study towards study the professions of high demand.
Robert Zwane, SAICA’s Senior Executive: National Projects, explains: ‘The major hurdle that the accounting profession faces, along with other professions of high demand (or scarce-skills professions), is the low number of learners (just 13%) passing maths with marks above 60%. Despite this, the profession has been successful in sustaining its pipeline – as one in five matrics who attain 60% or more in mathematics and pursue tertiary education choose the CA route. This is directly linked to the success of Thuthuka’s school projects including our annual Development Camps. And while not every learner who participates in these programmes seeks to become a CA(SA), Thuthuka’s desire is to grow these initiatives – irrespective of the professions learners wish to pursue – with the view to create a pool of learners for all these scarce-skills professions.’
Working in partnership with the provincial departments of education, members of the accounting profession, universities’ representatives, and institutions, the week-long SAICA Development Camps provide extra lessons to improve learners’ performance in mathematics, science, accounting and English. Learners are also offered life skills training and career information to help them make wise and appropriate career choices.’
Indeed, the benefits of the camps extend beyond the immediate goal of improving academic performance. They also awaken children to their own personal potential.
‘Year after year, the National Senior Certificate (NSC) matric exam results reveal that participants in these interventions have an advantage over their peers going into their final exams. For example, the 2018 matric results reveal success stories like Simphiwe Ngewu, a matric learner from Khayolwethu Secondary School in the Western Cape who received an award for ‘Excellent achievement across the province’ after he amassed an impressive seven distinctions in the 2018 National Senior Certificate exams. This includes achievements of 90% and more in five subjects,’ adds Zwane.
This year, more than 2 500 learners with an aptitude for mathematics have been invited to spend a week of their school holidays at the SAICA Development Camps.
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