Despite missed school days and the added stress of lockdown, Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS) learner, Sibulele Solilo bagged eight distinctions and a 90% average for matric.
An alumnus of Solomon Mahlangu Senior Secondary School in East London, Sibulele achieved over 90% for both Maths and Science.
The KwaNobuhle township local plans to study Medicine at the University of Stellenbosch this year so that he can follow his dream of becoming a Forensic Pathologist.
And if the challenge of living in poverty in a crime ridden area with limited internet access wasn’t enough, the retrenchment of Sibulele’s father added to the extreme pressure over the lockdown period.
Sibulele says he managed to pull through with the support of this mother, “whose strength helped him get through the tougher days.”
Living by the philosophy that integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching, his advice for the matric students of 2021 is to put everything into making a success of the year.
“Start preparing now for the final exam. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.”
Sibulele, says attending EMSS classes every Saturday from grade 10-12 boosted his confidence and provided him with a better understanding of complex topics.
“We also received excellent study materials and I followed a strict study plan that resulted in a dramatic improvement in my academic performance, which proves that learners who attend the EMSS programme will reap the benefits.”
The long-running Engen Maths and Science School programme offers supplementary Maths, Science and English tuition to underprivileged grade 10-12 learners.
Saturday classes are held at nine locations across South Africa, including: Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Cala and Johannesburg, and in KwaZulu-Natal at Fairvale High School, Ganges High School, Howard College, and Mangosuthu University of Technology.
The 2020 EMSS matric class attained an impressive 84% overall pass rate of which 63% attained bachelor passes, versus the broader South African matric pass rate of 76.2%.
Engen’s General Manager: Corporate Strategy and Communications, Khalid Latiff explains that the EMSS programme focuses specifically on providing extra tuition in “gateway” subjects such as mathematics and science, which are considered critical in addressing the country’s technical and engineering skills shortage as well as spurring economic growth and development.
“The EMSS programme seeks to harness the potential of talented young people in difficult circumstances and to contribute to the pool of scarce skills in the country,” comments Latiff.
“Starting off as Engen Saturday Schools over 30 years ago, Engen Maths and Science Schools are central to our skills development efforts and to help build the human capital of the future.
“The programme has worked tirelessly to transform young lives and has, we believe, made a meaningful contribution to a more transformed and vibrant South African workforce.”
Latiff says the company is incredibly proud of Sibulele Solilo and all the learners who completed matric in 2020, especially under a difficult set of circumstances.
“Our ultimate reward is to help set them all up to pursue stimulating careers that won’t only benefit them personally, but also the broader macro economy of South Africa.
Engen, congratulates Sibulele and the Engen Maths and Science School class of 2020 and offers a well-deserved round of applause to all the learners and teachers.