The Engen Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) 2023 matric class in Gauteng has achieved flying colors.
Engen celebrated the effort and sacrifice of the top learners at an awards ceremony at the Zakarriya Park Centre on 3 February 2024.
Orange Farm’s Tshilidzi Ramudzuli Ravhutulu, a Leshata Secondary School alumnus, achieved five distinctions, including 96% for Mathematics and 98% for Physical Science, earning him a coveted spot to study Actuarial Science at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Leshata Secondary School’s Tshilidzi Ramudzuli Ravhutulu has earned a coveted place to study Actuarial Science at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2024 on the back of an incredible set of matric results.
With five distinctions, including 96% for Maths and 98% for Physical Science, 18-year-old Tshilidzi attributes much of his success to the Engen Maths and Science School he attended at Zakarriya Park in 2023.
Inspired by Aristotle’s philosophy that excellence is a result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution, Tshilidzi offers valuable advice to this year’s matric learners, encouraging them to believe in themselves and their dreams.
“Always work hard and consistently. Matric is a tough year,” says Tshilidzi, who lost his father at age 12, which meant his mother became the sole breadwinner for him and his three siblings.
Excited about the future, Tshilidzi aspires to qualify as an actuary and dreams of owning his own insurance company, showcasing his determination to succeed against all odds.
Lenasia South resident, Morgan Karabo Ngwenya, an alumnus from Southview High achieved an incredible 7 distinctions in matric, including 95% for mathematics and 81% for English and Science. These marks have secured him a spot at North West University, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics.
Expressing his gratitude: “I was so appreciative of the commitment of all the teachers who heightened my understanding of difficult concepts. I felt secure enough to ask any questions and felt supported and encouraged to reach my full potential.”
In offering advice to the matric class of 2024, Morgan encourages them to “exercise patience and give their best efforts. The result is what truly matters, regardless of the challenges faced along the journey.”
Hailing from Lenasia South Hospital, Morgan said the most challenging aspect of his matric year was maintaining consistency and keeping up the momentum, a struggle he faced with determination. Guiding him through this journey was his mentor and sister, offering valuable advice and unwavering support.
Morgan’s dream extends beyond personal success; he aspires to graduate and become a trailblazer in his field. His overarching goal is to not only improve his family’s life but also contribute to the betterment of others in his community.
Lenasia resident and Southview High School alumnus, Ondwela Mathabi achieved an incredible 90% in mathematics which secured him a spot at Wits University this year, to study a BSc in computer science.
“The EMSS teachers are also very knowledgeable and patient,” he adds.
In offering advice to the matric class of 2024, Ondwela encourages learners to be proactive and study ahead.
“It’s important to manage your time effectively, stay motivated, and find your enthusiasm for studying if you want to achieve good marks.
“A study timetable will help with your time management and make sure that you give equal attention to all subjects.”
Ondwela acknowledges his parents’ love and support during his academic journey, who despite financial constraints, showed him their unwavering support.
Reflecting on challenges during the matric year, Ondwela says that the June exams were particularly stressful due to a heavy workload.
He also emphasizes the significance of prayer and a solid religious grounding, following a philosophy of letting God lead his way.
“I am a strong believer, and I leave everything in the hands of God.”
“The program is a lifeline for these students, offering them the resources and guidance necessary to achieve academic excellence and pursue higher education.”
The recently released Department of Basic Education (DBE) technical report reveals encouraging improvements in the pass rates for mathematics and physical science, with mathematics increasing from 55% in 2022 to 63.5% in 2023.
However, a concerning aspect is that out of the 166 337 learners who passed maths, only
41 273 achieved a 60% and above mark, which is the minimum qualifying maths mark for university entrance to engineering, commerce, and science degrees.
“This data underscores the invaluable role that EMSS plays in providing crucial support to young learners, particularly those demonstrating potential in STEM subjects,” says Mdabula.
In addition to mathematics, the pass rate for physical science also showed a positive trend, rising from 74.6% to 76.2%; however, only 35 468 learners achieved a mark of 60% and above, emphasizing the continued need for initiatives like EMSS to bolster education in this critical subject.
“By providing extra tuition in gateway subjects like English, Mathematics, and Physical Science, the program strives to bridge the educational gap and empower students to reach their full potential,” affirms Mdabula.