200 KZN Learners Attend SAICA Development Camp - Business Media MAGS

Sunday Times Skills

200 KZN Learners Attend SAICA Development Camp

SPONSORED: The main campus at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Pietermaritzburg was buzzing with activity from 4 to 9 July 2016 when 200 KZN matric learners took part in the Thuthuka development camp of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

At the camp, learners participated in extra lessons in mathematics, science and accounting, and learnt more about soft skills such as time management and career promotion. The rationale behind this development camp is to improve matric learners’ mathematics, financial literacy, accounting and science proficiency as they prepare to write their prelim and final exams.

Seluleko Bhengu (16), a Grade 12 learner from Sikhethuxolo High School in Hammarsdale has benefitted from the camp and says: ‘I have learnt a lot and I am now certain that I want to become a chartered accountant [CA(SA)]. Previously, I had doubts, but now I am clear on what I want. The teacher, Mr Khanyile, is very passionate and creative and he taught us some very creative ways at looking at the subject.’

Elicia Sithole (17) from Isibukosezwe High School in Hammarsdale, agrees. She says that she came to the camp with high expectations: 

‘I scored 70% in mathematics at school and I want to get a higher mark, since I am certain that I want to pursue a career as a chartered accountant. I do not have a teacher at the moment and the teacher who was assigned to us did not know the subject and he did not teach well at all. This experience was a breath of fresh air. I benefitted a great deal from Mr Khanyile. He is so experienced and he has mastered the art of teaching.’

Zakhele Khumalo (18) from Muzokhanyayo High School in Newcastle says he benefitted from the camp because it is an extension of what he does at his school:

‘I found that mathematics is not difficult. Panic is not necessary. You just need to focus and apply your mind to the subject. I also enjoyed the diversity and interacting with different people. This has been a real working vacation for me.’

When it comes to making the impossible possible, Zamokuhle Mngomezulu (21), a Grade 12 learner at Zimele Secondary School in Jozini, Northern KwaZulu-Natal is living proof.

‘I benefitted tremendously from both the academic and the social sides of this incredible camp. The teacher was innovative and gave me greater insight into the subject. Now I know that there is a future for me and I do not have to restrict myself to driving a taxi. It was motivational for me and I benefitted a lot from this camp.’

The camp leaders, who are students currently studying towards their CA(SA) qualification play a pivotal role at these camps. One such leader Shandu Nobuhle (21), a third-year student at the University of Western Cape and a beneficiary of SAICA’s Thuthuka Bursary Fund says:

‘As part of Thuthuka, I enjoy the ethos of giving back. Whilst developing young learners I also developed my leadership skills. I witnessed great talent and skills and I believe that these camps will grow from strength to strength.’

This is echoed by Siyabonga Dlamini (21) from Newcastle, a fellow third-year Thuthuka student studying at the University of Pretoria: ‘I know what these learners are undergoing and I am able to identify with them.’

Celebrating the learners who scored the top marks in maths

The camp culminated in a gala awards evening on Friday 8 July. The highlight of the evening was when prize winners for the top maths learners were announced:

1st: Lungelo Mkhungo: Nqabakazulu High School, KwaMashu, Pinetown District

2nd: Sfundo Mpanza: Nqabakazulu High School, KwaMashu, Pinetown District

3rd: Sfundo Mdakane: Kadwa Secondary School, Amajuba District

The guest speaker, Mr Sibusiso Kheswa, a senior manager at the KZN Department of Education said: ‘Young people should participate in the processes in a young democracy. The culture and life skills that you have experienced this week will be an invaluable guide for the future. I am glad that SAICA embraced the vision of the Department of Education.’

SAICA’s KZN Project Manager: Nation Building, Lethu Mkhize, agrees: ‘The camp was a huge success. The learners were more interactive this year and their level of intelligence was impressive. This year, 12 educational districts were represented and learners hailed from 70 KZN schools, compared to the 20 schools that were represented last year.”

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