Top performers honoured at awards

Dedication, perseverance, sacrifice and hard work are the only secret ingredients to success.

These were the words of encouragement given to top performing pupils in maths and science who were awarded by NPO Kutlwanong and the Promaths initiative at the Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront on Tuesday July 11.

A total of 26 pupils from the Kutlwanong centre in Philippi were awarded certificates for their sterling performance in these two subjects.

Kutlwanong was established in 2005 in Soweto with the aim of assisting pupils in maths and physical science and over the years the centre has produced quality results.

The organisation has branches in eight provincesand they plan to set up all over the country. The Kutlwanong centre in Philippi is the only one in the Western Cape.

The country’s top pupil of 2016 was from the organisation. Emotions ran high and parents and teachers could not contain their excitement as each student was called to the front. The centre teaches maths and science to pupils from Grade 10 to Grade 12 from various schools around Philippi.

Promaths is an initiative spearheaded by Investec through which pupils from Grade 10 to Grade 12 are taught maths and science.

This year, the two organisations celebrated a 12-year partnership and have vowed to continue assisting pupils from the impoverished communities to reach their full potential.

Setlogane Manchidi, head of CSI at Investec, encouraged pupils to make the most of opportunities this initiative provides them.

He said he was pleased that they continued to produce distinctions as they strived for excellences.

He said pupils from the township have the potential and ability to achieve great things but they need support and resources to pursue their dreams.

Mr Manchidi said: “You will never know what you are capable of until you try. Never allow your past to discourage you and be a stumbling block in pursuing your studies. This is the platform to take one step towards your dream.”

He said their average pass rate was 90% and a study conducted by an independent body showed that pupils who had been beneficiaries of their programmes completed their courses at various higher learning institutions within the given time period.

He said their ultimate aim was to polish the abilities and talent of the pupils and let them shine and turn their dreams into reality.

“We are saying to the nation that black children have the potential to achieve greatness, but only if they are given a chance and opportunity in life,” he said.

Tumelo Mabitsela, founder and MD of Kutlwanong, delivered a motivational speech and pleaded with the pupils to never give up.

He told the pupils that they should never allow lifes struggles and challenges to deter them from pursuing their dreams.

He said the organisation was started in 2005 after they discovered that pupils needed additional assistance in the critical subjects of maths and science.

Mr Mabitsela pointed out that they have developed their own new innovative teaching methods with the hope of tackling the challenges that the pupils grapple with in these two subjects.

He made it clear that nothing made him more proud than seeing pupils who come from impoverished background achieving excellence.

“Our pupils pass with distinctions. We strive for excellence and greatness. When we started it was hard and we feared that we might not achieve our goals but through perseverance and a firm support from our sponsors we soldiered on,” he said.

Head of Kutlwanong centre in Philippi, Nelson Poopedi, did not have the precise words to express his excitement, but said they wanted to change the status of townships schools. He said the plan now is to launch another centre in Khayelitsha.

Mr Poopedi said they wanted their pupils to never be intimidated by these subjects in school.

Student Luthando Theme was named 2016’s top pupil.

The 18-year-old is studying medicine at the University of Cape Town and he applauded the centre for having assisted him overcome his difficulties in maths and science.