The Eastern Cape’s top Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS) matric graduate, Libhongo Mko lives by the philosophy that hard work and dedication will open doors. It is this belief that saw him come out as the top learner in the Eastern Cape EMSS classes with five distinctions, including 90% for science and 83% maths, marks that secured him a place to study Computer Science at the University of Cape Town in 2019. Hailing from Mdantsane in East London, Libhongo was schooled at Philemon Ngcelwane High School and attended weekly EMSS supplementary classes at the University of Fort Hare in East London. He joined the EMMS programme when he was in grade 10 and says attending classes every Saturday morning gave him the confidence and boost he needed. “EMSS really helped me by taking away my examination fears as we had regular tests throughout the year. The lectures and our centre co-ordinator are the ones who encouraged me in choosing the course that I will study this year, as they always emphasised that nothing can limit us, not even the sky.” Libhongo says he comes from a God-fearing big family. “I’m the fourth child at home and received a lot of support and motivation from each and every family member. I was taught that education is the key to living a successful life. What motivated me through the year were my teachers, principal, family, friends and my mentor, my Life Science teacher Miss Dimakatso Mosola,” he says. His message for this year’s matrics is to take advantage of every opportunity for extra learning. “I would advise them that hard work is the key to achieving the results that one wants. Being competitive will also help them to study even harder, while being curious about the subjects that they are doing and never going to sleep without studying will also be of benefit.” In 2019, 532 matriculants from across South Africa benefited from Engen-backed extra classes in English, Maths and Science, achieving an impressive 93% pass rate against the . . .
Life on earth is a rollercoaster ride of emotions and our reactions to these emotions. All too often, we coaster through life, unaware of our behavioral choices and even worse, unable to consider the possibility that we could have made better choices for ourselves along the way. According to Cindy Glass, Founder and Owners of Step Up Education Centres says, “Self-awareness is the first skill in emotional intelligence and it sets the precedent for the growth and development of all emotional intelligence skills. Being able to look at ourselves honestly, and without negative judgement, will enable and empower us to achieve greater success in all that we do. This, of course, applies to our children and their personal and academic learning as well.” She adds that self-awareness skills will help your children become aware of their emotions and behaviours and make better choices in all that they do. They will also experience better personal relationships as they become aware of the emotions, behaviours and choices of others. “It is important to note that self-awareness includes skills in being aware of positive and negative emotions, behaviours and choices. It is about learning to own these choices, learn from the mistakes and consider what behaviours will be best in any situation,” Cindy explains. She offers the following helpful tips to teach your child this essential life skill: Create an environment where your children are free to recognise and acknowledge their mistakes and achievements in a non-judgmental, non-frightening way. Remember that it is fear of negative consequences that often hold us back from admitting mistakes to ourselves. And yet, if we cannot own a mistake, how can we find a positive solution to fix it? Don’t allow the blame-game. Blaming others for the choices that we have made disempowers us and reduces our opportunity to grow and learn from our choices and experiences. You are your child’s first and most powerful teacher – set the . . .
Anxiety and excitement overcame most matriculants as they anticipated their final results. The Free State Class of 2018 achieved an 87.5% pass rate and Kananelo Mohorosi, a learner from one of the schools that benefit from the KST partnership with the Free State Department of Education (FSDoE), was one of the top achievers in the Fezile Dabi district. The district attained a 92.3% pass rate, qualifying it as the best performing and leading district in the country, for the second consecutive year. A bright future lies ahead for Mohorosi who aspires to be a Medical Doctor, with his second choice being a Mining Engineer, “I chose medicine as my first choice because I realised that our country has a shortage of Doctors as the good ones tend to leave to work overseas. I also realised that I am capable of getting really good marks in my school subjects - that was when I ended up falling in love with the health sciences because it is going to allow me to do what I know and love. It will also allow me to fulfil my top passion of practicing Ubuntu and giving back to my community and giving our people good quality of life through good health”. Coming from a family that cannot fund higher education studies, Mohorosi has applied for National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS). Mohorosi says “the reality is that not every young person can afford to advance themselves academically because universities and funding are inaccessible to some. Learners in rural schools, particularly those in quintiles 1 - 3 often face different challenges compared to urban schools that fall within quintile 4-5. These challenges range from lack of infrastructure to shortage of educators at times. However, Mohorosi and his peers defied the odds and grabbed all opportunities presented by KST and the FSDoE with both hands. He was a beneficiary of a range of school camps whose purpose was to revise previous exam papers and address challenging topics in certain subjects under the supervision of . . .
Engen have announced the top learners for 2018 who attended the Engen Maths & Science School (EMSS) programme, and revealed that the matric EMSS class of 2018 attained an impressive 93% pass rate against the national pass rate of 78.2%. The EMSS programme offers additional Maths, Science and English tuition every Saturday to learners from grades 10-12 at nine locations across South Africa. It is aimed at helping address South Africa’s key skills shortages in the engineering and technical fields. The programme’s successful record of accomplishment speaks for itself with 67% of the 2018 EMSS matric class attaining bachelor passes against the national average of 43%. All three top achievers for 2018 hailed from KwaZulu-Natal. The top national achiever was Thabiso Ndlovu of Velabahleke High School in Umlazi, who attended the EMSS programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Thabiso who is planning to study medicine this year, achieved an impressive 92% for science, 97% for maths and 86% for English. Second nationally was Msomi Zizile of Zwelibanzi High School, Umlazi who attended the EMSS programme at Mangosuthu University of Technology. Zizile scored a near perfect score of 98% in science, 89% for maths and 81% for English. She is planning to study either medicine or chemical engineering at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Third was Brenton Johnson from the Bluff, who attended Grosvenor Boys High. Brenton attended the EMSS programme at Fairvale Secondary School and will be studying for a Bachelor of Accounting Sciences at Varsity College, Westville Campus in 2019. Brenton achieved 94% for science, 83% for maths and 89% for English. Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Adhila Hamdulay is delighted that Engen is giving many bright young learners the springboard to pursue their tertiary education in maths and science related fields. Thabiso, Msomi and Brenton all three achieved a spectacular average of more than 90% for . . .
Helping your child make the most of repeating a Grade When babies are learning to walk, they fall (or fail) many times over. Babies need to repeat the process (of learning to walk) over and over again, until they get it right and are able to move on to greater movement such as running, jumping and skipping. According to Cindy Glass, Owner and Founder of Step Up Education Centres, “These ‘failures’ are normal and natural processes in the act of learning to walk. In fact, they are expected and hailed as signs of effort and future success!” She adds that as we grow older, our fear of failing and falling down tends to slow our progress and in some cases, even stop it altogether. “Children who ‘fail’ a grade, for example, often feel humiliated, ashamed, embarrassed and depressed. Their self-worth plummets and they often find it difficult to accept the fact that they will not be moving up to a new grade with their classmates." Parents, too, struggle with a ‘failed’ grade as, so often, they see it as an indictment on their parenting. “And yet, if you think about it, ‘failing’ a grade is not all that different to trying to walk for the first time. Some skills need more time and attention to master and not all children learn at the same rate or even in the same way.” If your child is repeating a grade in 2019, Cindy gives you some tips to help him/her in understanding and embracing the gift of being given this opportunity to learn more effectively: 1. There is no such thing as failing a grade. It is time to speak a different language. Your child has not yet mastered the building blocks needed to move on to a new grade. He/she is being given an opportunity to REPEAT a grade in order to master these important skills. 2. Address the elephant in the room through open and honest communication. Speak to your child about them having to repeat the grade. Find out how they feel and what they will need from you in order to move forward with a positive outlook. . . .
Johannesburg, 3 January 2019 - As the holiday season comes to a close, many of us make plans to ‘spring clean’ our lives, our cupboards, our homes and so much more. However, just as you plan to clean your personal space, de-clutter your surroundings, office managers and those responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of work spaces, should consider the benefits of using the quiet period to give the work or office environment a deep clean. 1. Downtime makes for good organisation While staff are away, there is likely to be very little disruption to the process and more importantly, to the colleagues of the company. The quiet period is the perfect time to get your ‘house in order’, as they say. During the year, when everyone is doing the grind and are too busy to side step their office space or use different bathrooms, it can be a great inconvenience to do more than the required cleaning and upkeep of the office environment. 2. Image is everything First impressions are important. In psychology it is defined as the event when one person first encounters another person, object or scene. In legal terms, a first impression is defined as a first consideration or judgement. In an interview scenario, you are being judged by your employer, however some employers simply don’t think about your judgement of their environment. An unkempt, unhygienic environment does not make for a good portrayal of the work environment and can leave any visitor to the office, with unintended and even unsuspecting forms of a negative mental image of the business. ‘Judging the book by its cover’, is not just a saying, it happens and as beings who are influenced by image, a negative appearance can greatly tarnish the image of your brand - and it does not matter who is affected because word of mouth makes for an impression by everyone with whom this information is shared. 3. Hygiene makes for a healthy work environment Absenteeism from work can be linked to many things in society . . .
Have you ever considered that your child’s struggles at school may be because of emotional challenges? The academic year, as we are already aware, hold many stressors for children. What we are not always conscious of is that a child’s emotional state can directly affect the need to perform academically. In fact, according to Kerry De Jager, Head Franchisor at Step Up Education Centres, South Africa says, “Children who are experiencing emotional challenges (pain, uncertainty, family challenges, low self-esteem and fear) are more likely to struggle with the academic demands of formal schooling.” Think of a time as an adult, for example, where you have had an emotional challenge. “It is incredibly difficult to focus on our jobs and careers when our emotional state is one of pain, blame or demotivation. As an adult we have developed the skills needed to cope with stress and anxiety and yet our emotional state sometimes hinders our ability to function in the workplace,” Kerry explains. She adds that developmentally some children are not yet ready to deal with these stresses and furthermore an emotional immature child will not have the coping skills to deal with the way their emotions make them feel. As the stresses of the year creep up on them, their emotional state will have a greater and greater impact on their ability to concentrate on their academic work. “An emotionally stable learner is able to take in and retain new information more effectively. Concentration skills are better and social relationships are a great deal more positive.” Kerry gives the following tips to parents who you have a child who is struggling at school: It is important to look at your child as a unique individual and realise that academic performance cannot be looked at in isolation. If your child has not performed as well as what you expected, try and find out why. Aim at honest non-judgemental conversations that will enable you to understand the emotional state that your child . . .
Brenda Tsolo has a dream. With more than 15 years of experience in contact centres, she knows the sector is ideally positioned to create job opportunities for unemployed, young South Africans. Wanting to be part of the employment solution, Brenda’s vision has been to set up her own contact centre and that’s why she has grasped the opportunity to own and operate a micro call centre – and has a massive goal to grow her business to 500 agents in the next five years. Brenda opportunity to realise her dream became reality when she was selected as one of the first entrepreneurs to partner with EduPower Skills Academy in its Enterprise Development programme. The brainchild of EduPower’s Director, Rajan Naidoo, the programme seeks to develop black-owned contact centres using corporate B-BBEE Enterprise Development funding to help them scale and grow. “Companies that are B-BBEE compliant are required to spend 1% of NPAT on Enterprise Development. EduPower wants to tap into this funding to set-up at least 20 incubators and help these entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector,” Rajan explains. Traditionally, the contact centre industry in South Africa is limited to a number of large players as the barriers to entry are high. By setting up their incubators the EduPower contact centre facility, the entrepreneurs are not constrained by many of the traditional costs and overheads related to running a business and this greatly increases their chances of survival and sustainability. And it also increases the chances of these businesses becoming successful enough to create additional employment in the near future. Now in her third month, Brenda is one of two entrepreneurs who have already been placed in EduPower’s 24-month programme and she already seeing the benefits of a range of hands-on practical training as well as intensive coaching, mentorship and business development. One of the most important aspects however is . . .
When we shun children with disabilities, we are denying them of their human rights and limiting their potential to a mere condition, says Noemia Contente, spokesperson of the Lusito Association. “We are finding that there is a definite block with trying to get corporates out there to fund disabled causes. There seems to be this mentality that a disabled child will always be a disabled child, no amount of money can change that. Although there may be no cure for disabilities, we can still improve the quality of life of these children,” Contente continues. A 2006 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities established that children with “long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments” should enjoy the same human rights and freedoms as other children. But this is not always the case. “Children with Disabilities all over the globe face a multitude of barriers not experienced by other children. In South Africa alone, Human Rights Watch estimated that over 500 000 children living with a disability have been shut out of the country’s education system. You look at Corporate Social Investment databases that are used for funding, they have various sections such as education, arts, sports and culture, health, and the likes, but none of those categories include disability, Contente explains. Living with a disability is an expensive experience. Most of the children require specialised equipment to assist in making their lives better. Often the equipment is customised to their specific needs and has to be imported with the price ranging from R5000 - R60 000 plus. “But most of the parents in our association are from disadvantaged backgrounds. They can’t afford to buy imported equipment that their children need. This is where the association needs funding,” says Lusito School physiotherapist Diana Ribeiro. “We have a little boy of four attending the Lusito School, which cannot walk. His mobility was restricted to the floor . . .
Nal’ibali, the nationwide reading-for-enjoyment campaign which aims to spark children’s potential through reading and storytelling, is supporting caregivers in kick-starting their children’s 2019 school year by giving away 20 mini-libraries fully stocked with story books in different South African languages. Research shows that children who read for pleasure, do better across all school subjects, including Maths. However, to keep children reading, it’s helpful to understand what motivates them to read. According to American researchers, Kathryn Edmunds and Kathryn Bauserman, the following factors influence children’s reading behaviours. • Children are more likely to read a book they chose themselves • Children enjoy books that match their personal interests • Children are more likely to choose books that have exciting covers, great illustrations and action-packed plots, as well as books that are funny or scary • What they could learn from reading a book was important to them • Their interest in reading was sparked and encouraged by their family members (especially mothers), teachers and friends • Children were often excited to read books they had heard about from friends • Children enjoyed being read to by family members and teachers, even if they could already read. • Once they’d caught the reading bug, children continued to motivate themselves to read! Nal’ibali mini libraries contain a carefully curated selection of books designed to expose children to a range of literacy and illustration styles. Every library is bilingual in a bid to support a culture a multilingualism, and to help children build a strong foundation in their other tongue as well as English. “Providing families and classrooms with their own mini libraries is just one of the ways we are nurturing a culture of reading in South Africa. Nal’ibali stories can also be accessed directly from its website, in its regular reading-for-enjoyment supplement or heard on the radio,” explains . . .