Over 2700 Teens to Spend the Holidays Improving Their Maths Skills

Most teenagers will spend the winter holidays finding ways to relax and avoid the cold. However, thanks to the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), more than 2 700 talented learners will be warming their brains countrywide.

Thuthuka Development Camps will take place between 24 June and 16 July. Participating teenagers will receive invaluable support to help them tackle complex and problematic mathematics, accounting, financial literacy and science topics.

The lack of adequate mathematics and science proficiency is one of South Africa’s greatest education challenges – we ranked last among 140 economies in the 2015-16 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index for the second year running. As gateway subjects needed to study towards scarce skill professions, SAICA and the Department of Basic Education believe it is essential that South Africa addresses the quality of passes in these subjects among high school learners.

This is precisely what the Thuthuka Development Camps seek to do. The camps, which SAICA has been running annually since its first Thuthuka camp in 2005, help produce many of the country’s top matric learners.

For example, in 2015, math camp attendee Fulufhelani Mashapha was the top learner in the Limpopo’s quintile 2 matric results, while the Free State’s Nkoalo Dimpho, another camp learner, became the top mathematics learner in the province when she scored 92% in her matric exam.

Producing high quality matric passes thanks to additional education support

At this year’s camps, the 2 700 selected leaners (chosen on the basis of academic performance where they must have scored a minimum of 60% in mathematics and English to be invited) will receive assistance intended to help them produce high quality matric passes that will set them on the path to study towards key professions such as accounting, engineering, commerce and the sciences.

Gugu Makhanya, Senior Executive: Transformation and Growth, explains the importance of this TEUF initiative in terms of assisting qualifying African and coloured learners who aspire to become chartered accountants [CAs(SA)]. ‘Running between five and seven days, the camps’ workshops facilitators help motivate the learners and develop key skills identified as underdeveloped in African learners including numeracy, literacy, study skills, examination techniques and other soft skills,’ explains Makhanya.

These facilitators consist of teachers as well as representatives from universities, institutions such as the Financial Services Boards and various professions. In addition, SAICA gets its Thuthuka Bursary Fund recipients to act as camp group leaders where they not only give back to their communities but serve as role models because they too, for the most part, were part of the Thuthuka camps when they were learners.

Makhanya adds that it is thanks to the financial support from the provincial departments of education and the accounting profession that these camps are able to fulfil their objectives of:

  • improving learners’ aptitudes in core mathematics, science, accounting and English;
  • helping learners to obtain and enhance the skills required successfully to study in the direction of their choice by obtaining skills in goal-setting, decision-making and career planning;
  • promoting engineering, science, technology and specifically also chartered accountancy as careers of choice;
  • exposing learners to the business world in a fun and educational manner;
  • introducing learners to simulated practices;
  • giving learners an opportunity to interact with their peers, as well as members of the accounting profession ;training organisations and universities;
  • developing their leadership skills by teaching them the value of the role each of them has to play in society.

The 2016 Thuthuka Development Camps run between 24 June and 16 July as per the schedule below:

 

Province Date Camp Address Contact person
Mpumalanga 25 June – 3 July Emakhazeni Boarding School Machadodorp godfreyl@saica.co.za
Gauteng 25 June – 2 July Prestige College, Hammanskraal etheln@saica.co.za
Western Cape 3 – 8 July The Cape Academy for Math’s and Science bettya@saica.co.za
Limpopo 3 – 9 July University of Limpopo, Polokwane Mankweng Campus thandananiu@saica.co.za
Kwa-Zulu Natal 4 July – 9 July UKZN sistern@saica.co.za or lethukuthulam@saica.co.za
North West 10 – 16 July Potch Boys High School, Potchefstroom. leratok@saica.co.za
Eastern Cape 24 June – 2 July Sumcay Camping Centre, Port Elizabeth bulelanim@saica.co.za
7 – 16 July Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha
Free State 10 – 16 July University of the Free State godfreyl@saica.co.za

 

Please kindly note that Thuthuka Development Camps will be held in October 2016 for the following provinces:

Northern Cape: 2 – 7 October

Gauteng Grade 11 camp: 1 – 8 October

Gauteng camp: 23-27 October

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