In an effort to improve the results of grade 12 learners the Thuthuka Education Upliftment Fund (TEUF) has partnered with four SAICA-accredited universities throughout South Africa to run Outreach Feeder Programmes to assist 950 matrics and 56 accountancy educators.
The programmes provide extra mathematics, accounting, science and/or English classes to grade 12 learners and in some instances educators. These classes are offered either after school or on a Saturday at the various campuses and facilitated by the universities? Science Departments and Schools of Accounting. Regular tests are written to gauge each learner?s progress and to assist the lecturers to identify problem areas so that extra attention can be given to these and rectified. The universities run these outreach programmes as to support their local schools.
Gugu Makhanya, SAICA?s Project Director Transformation and Growth says, "The TEUF got involved because we recognise that these programmes improve the learners? marks and the teachers understanding and teaching methods. We didn?t want to reinvent the wheel but rather to support what successful projects exist by partnering with the universities that already provide academic support. The TEUF then provides financial support and motivation and career guidance to prepare learners for the tertiary education environment.'
The Outreach Feeder Programmes run at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) is called SAICA @ UJ, at the University of Cape Town (UCT) the programme is SHAWCO Shine @ UCT, at the University of the Free State (UFS) the programme is called Monyetla Project @ UFS and at the Nelson Mandela Municipality University (NMMU) the Outreach Feeder Programme is called COINS and TEP @ NMMU.
The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) created TEUF nine years ago to help boost the number of CAs(SA) hailing from previously disadvantaged communities throughout South Africa. TEUF is a holistic programme designed to identify and nurture promising African and Coloured learners while still at high school; to improve their mathematics marks so they can gain admission into university, so that ultimately more learners have the opportunity to study and qualify as chartered accountants South Africa CA(SA).
Makhanya notes that should these interventions prove to be as successful as we think they will, that a Thuthuka Bursary Fund (TBF) pipeline based on the students National Benchmark Testing results will be created. In addition and numbers dependant, in 2012 SAICA will also implement a specific CA(SA) programme for interested learners in each project.
According to Makhanya, "The Outreach Feeder Programmes also help identify learners for participation in our Maths Development Camps held during the June school holidays and to encourage learners who are prospective CA(SA), who meet the selection criteria, to apply to the Thuthuka Bursary Fund. This gives us a wider pool of quality learners to draw from.
"Good luck to all the learners for preparations and in the upcoming matric exams.'
The university programmes are:
This University of Johannesburg (UJ) Outreach Feeder Programme has 102 grade 12 learners, who all want to become CAs(SA), and offers mathematics, English and accounting classes offered. The learners come from two schools, Tetelo Secondary School and Bhukulani Secondary School, in Soweto and classes take place on a Saturday at the UJ Soweto Campus.
Learners are selected based on their mathematics marks and their interest in the CA(SA) stream. There is also a class for the six educators that teach these subjects from the two schools, their class attendance and progress which are monitored.
The learners are encouraged through motivational sessions. Parental feedback session are also held to keep the parents involved and updated on their children?s? progress.
SHAWCO Shine @ UCT
At the University of Cape Town (UCT), the Students? Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO Shine) partners with 36 schools from the predominantly coloured communities. TEUF contribute towards the tuition of 170 learners.
Every week, student volunteers hop onto buses, armed with the day?s lesson plans, and are bussed out to one of the four education centres in Khayelitsha, Kensington, Manenberg and Nyanga to provide crucial support to eager learners.
For the learners who don?t qualify to go onto tertiary education, SHAWCO Shine offers training in IT and Business Entrepreneurial Skills so that they can either become more employable or can start their own businesses.
Monyetla Project @ UFS
At the University of the Free State (UFS) the word "Monyetla' means opportunity in Sesotho. This Outreach Feeder Programme is taught on Saturday?s at the UFS South Campus to grade 12 learners from 32 schools in the Motheo region.
The top twenty learners in each school?s grade 12 class (640 learners in total) participate in the programme. Lessons are taught in six subjects by some of the most experienced teachers in the province, including accounting, mathematics and physical science.
TEUF also made a financial contribution that was used to upgrade the computer lab so that the grade 12 learners from local disadvantaged communities are trained on how to use PowerPoint and MS Access and other programmes.
Approximately 50 learners from this Outreach Programme have thus far met the criteria for the TBF; if successful these learners will be placed at the UFS.
Coins and TEP Project @ NMMU
The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth launched two new projects earlier this year to improve the quality of their pipeline of candidates for the CAs(SA) programme, namely the Commerce Incubator Schools (COINS) and the Teacher Enrichment Programme.
COINS is aimed at improving the mathematics and accounting skills of 42 grade 12 learners. This is a co-operative project between the NMMU School of Accounting, TEUF, Deloitte?s Project Siyakhula Programme, SAICA and the NMMU Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Unit.
This 14-week Saturday School Outreach Feeder Programme covers the mathematics syllabus with the use of DVDs enabling the learners to mentor other learners at their schools. This cross-teaching also helps the learners understand the work better and serves as a type of revision. There are weekly tests and attendance is monitored to ensure the learners make full use of the support given. A closing prize-giving ceremony was recently held for the successful students and their parents.
The Teacher Enrichment Programme is a joint initiative between the NMMU School of Accounting and TEUF which currently supports 50 educators. It aims to improve the quality of teaching and therefore the grade 12 accounting results. The NMMU lecturers cover topics from the grade 12 accounting syllabus over a nine week period. These sessions also cover CA(SA) career promotion and the Thuthuka Bursary Fund application procedures.
A closing prize-giving ceremony will be held for the participating teachers where certificates of commitment and attendance will be awarded.