Foundation in place to improve high school learners’ academic performance

With high school learners’ academic performance still a challenge and a priority nationwide, grade eight to twelve learners in Mahikeng, North West, have received a much-needed academic boost with the opening of the IkamvaYouth Centre on Saturday, 6 February at Danville Secondary School, Danville.

Made possible and funded by ABI Bottling, this is the fifth centre being launched by ABI in partnership with IkamvaYouth and it will see learners in Mahikeng receive comprehensive academic support that includes supplementary tutoring; career guidance mentoring and leadership as well as life skills as  computer literacy and e-learning.

Since its inception in 2003, the IkamvaYouth programme has impacted over 5 000 learners, with the 2015 statistics showing an impressive average pass rate of 76% across all the ABI Bottling-funded branches – beating the national pass rate that currently stands at 70.7%. In 2015, 77% of those who passed were eligible to access college or university; 30% obtained a diploma pass enabling access to college and 47% obtained a bachelor pass enabling them to access universities.

Patrick Mashanda, IkamvaYouth national coordinator says: “We are motivated by ABI Bottling’s continued support in making the programme a success, but most importantly, we are delighted by the level of interest from communities in which we have established these centres. Today we are able to reach Mahikeng and uplift the youth here and we believe we will be able to do more over time to further improve the academic performance of our learners.”

The programme has shown that 30% for maths or science can be turned into a distinction and that a pass rate of 85% is possible, thus opening up the possibility of tertiary education, employability and entrepreneurship among school leavers.

Gaopaleloe Mothoagae, sustainable development manager at ABI Bottling says: “The youth remain an integral part of our society and there is no better foundation than education for a successful future; whether as employees or entrepreneurs. Through our partnership with the IkamvaYouth programme, we are able to extend a helping hand to ensure that this vision manifests into reality. We are able to make a quantifiable and significant impact on the lives of many young people, and thus on the future of the country.”

Since 2012, ABI Bottling has invested R9.2 million to realise this purpose. Not only has ABI provided financial support to IkamvaYouth, but has also refurbished centres at which IkamvaYouth branches are based to make the venues conducive for learning.

With the same vigour that ABI supports IkamvaYouth, it also runs a successful recycling programme for schools which includes training for ABI Recycling Representatives (ARRs) in leadership skills, project management and business management. ARRs are unemployed youth that assist schools in the collection of recyclable material to enhance their collection performance. To date, ABI has trained 49 ARRs and nine of them have subsequently been appointed as permanent employees by ABI and other organisations.

By helping to empower youth, ABI Bottling is addressing the needs of the communities in which it operates as well as supporting the objectives related to the implementation of the National Development Plan.