Covid-19 proved no match for the Kutlwanong Centre for Maths, Science and Technology’s Promaths after-school tuition programme, which has again delivered incredible results.
Johannesburg, South Africa (6 April 2021) – Despite the enormous challenges faced by the matric class of 2020, learners benefitting from the Promaths programme in the East London township of Mdantsane rose to the occasion to record remarkable performances in maths and physical science.
The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa disrupted academic learning on an unprecedented scale, with the hard lockdown introduced in March last year proving to be especially taxing for matrics preparing for their all-important final exams. Yet as it has done so successfully in previous years, the Promaths programme of the Kutlwanong Centre for Maths, Science and Technology (“Kutlwanong”) was not only able to steer learners through troubled waters but deliver them exceptional results in these two “gateway” subjects.
The programme is designed to speed up top-level results among Grades 10-12 learners in previously disadvantaged areas across South Africa, and for many years has enjoyed a highly successful track record in the Mdantsane cohort. As was the case with learners and institutions in the rest of the country, the 2020 Promaths cohort were forced to contend with the effects of the pandemic, and for many, that included the emotional trauma of losing loved ones.
Many parents and guardians also lost their jobs while some homes experienced domestic abuse and other forms of violence.
Covid-19 also meant that Promaths centres had to rethink their strategies while recognising that internet connectivity and web access in the township and rural areas remain a huge problem in South Africa. But by employing a combination of online and face-to-face teaching sessions, Promaths was able to keep learners firmly on track and also recover sessions that had been lost to the lockdown.
The outcome for the Mdantsane cohort was beyond what even programme facilitators would have imagined. The group of 60 Eastern Cape learners recorded 100% pass rates in both maths and physical science, but even more impressively, they achieved overall averages of 63% and 67% in these two subjects, respectively. There were also 13 distinctions for maths and a staggering 22 distinctions for physical science among Mdantsane’s Promaths learners.
Remembering that 2020 was a year like no other in recent history, some of the results are nothing short of spectacular.
Likhona Mnyamana, of Khulani Commercial High School in Mdantsane, scored a near-perfect 98% for maths and 97% for physical science, while another Khulani learner, Faith Tonnie, scored 86% for maths and 90% for physical science.
At Wongalethu High School, located in Mdantsane Unit 2, Liphelo Morris left matric with 86% for maths and 91% for physical science.