King Edward VII School, in Johannesburg, shone brightly this year, boasting with eight pupils in the national top 50 of the South African Institute of Professional Accountants’ (SAIPA’s) 2018 National Accounting Olympiad (NAO) that is open to Grade 11 and Grade 12 learners from all schools across the country.
Students from Grade 12 were Nabeel Fazluddin, Uwais Sheikjee, Matthew Titterton, and from Grade 11 were Brayden Ramsay, Nathanael de Swardt, Dino Claro, Riyaadh Seedat and Joshua Ruthel.
Zobuzwe Ngobese, Marketing and Business Development Executive at SAIPA, says the Institute is very pleased with the school’s performance. “We hope their outstanding efforts will be an inspiration to other schools and provide a challenge to which they will rise in 2019.”
Ngobese is in no doubt that the school has instilled a spirit of achievement and dedication to study in these pupils and commends each of them for their personal effort to master accounting. “To place so many students so high is indeed something of which the principal and teachers can be proud,” he says. “It shows that they not only have a successful learning system but have also convinced their children of the merits of hard work.”
However, Ngobese notes that with proper focus and effort, any learner can become an accounting guru. “Yes, accounting is hard and mathematics is hard. But pupils who devote themselves will not only accomplish much in school but also in life,” he says.
2018’s contest was open to grade 11 and 12 pupils, although the Institute intends to invite grade 10 entries in the future. It is one of the country’s biggest accounting competitions, growing more popular each year, and is judged over two rounds held at participating schools. In the first round, grade 11 pupils had to score 60% or more while grade 12’s needed 65% or more in a written test to qualify to sit for a second paper. From this final round, the top 3 provincial winners were selected as well as the top 3 national winners.
Any student currently taking accounting at school and who wishes to study for a B.Com degree in the future may participate. The entry fee is R50 per learner with no limit on the number of entries per school. Students from no-fee schools enter for free.
Promoting the profession
According to Ngobese, the Olympiad is just one of SAIPA’s initiatives to ensure enough accountants are available to serve the country in coming decades. “An adequate complement of accountants in 5 to 6 years from now requires that enough learners take up accounting as a subject today,” he explains. Projects like the NAO expose not only the competitors to the profession but also children at their and other schools, and those reading the results in the media.
SAIPA challenges all schools to beat the standard set by King Edward VII School in next year’s National Accounting Olympiad. Competition details will be made known nearer the time.