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Coega Maths and Science Programme is a game changer - published 20 Oct 2021

Coega Maths and Science Programme is a
game changer and drives sustainability for the CDC

FORMER TOP ACHIEVERS (left to right): Pumela Stuurman (20), Sinovuyo Kostauli (22) and Yothando Sikhuza (21) have gone on to pursue their dream careers in the fields of Medicine and Aviation.

Gqeberha, 20 October 2021 – The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) announced today that since the establishment of its flagship Coega Maths & Science Programme (MSP) in 2013, many young people are taking advantage of the opportunity to improve their final marks in Mathematics & Physical Science subjects, says Eldon September, Coega Mathematics & Physical Science Facilitator.

The CDC, which is known for its ability to engineer solutions to complex socio-economic development challenges and to create opportunities for the youth, women and persons living with disabilities, has been utilising its 22 years’ experience, innovation, continuous improvement, and good governance to ensure sustainability and drive business growth.

Therefore, the MSP, as one of the CDC’s flagship programmes, is key to the organisation’s sustainability agenda. The MSP offers a second chance at no cost to learners who have written and passed all other Matric subjects except Mathematics and Physical Science. Most of these learners are young people from very poor educational, and often impoverished background.

Featured here is one of three alumnus of the programme, Pumela Stuurman (20), who hails from Motherwell Township in Gqeberha (formerly known as Port Elizabeth), Eastern Cape (EC), and is now a qualified private Pilot and currently studying towards obtaining a Commercial Pilot Licence. When we spoke to Pumela, he was excited about his achievements: “I heard about the Coega Maths and Science Programme on my way home from school after fetching my final matric results. By virtue of my disappointment and frustration with my maths and science final matric marks, and being confronted with the reality that I will not be able to pursue studies in aviation, I decided to apply for enrolment in the Coega Maths and Science Programme. The programme educators were very helpful and supportive and they made maths and science fun and enjoyable. For the first time in my life, I understood maths and science quite well, and it was truly a blessing to have been part of this wonderful programme. I will remain forever grateful for this opportunity that has changed my life.”

Another trailblazer is Yothando Sikhuza (21) who comes from Payne Location, Mthatha in the EC. Yothando is pursuing her career in Medicine, and hopes to become a medical doctor upon completion of her degree. She highlighted that, “applying for the Coega Maths and Science Programme was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my future. I have developed as a young person, and discovered parts of myself that I never knew existed. I was not just moulded personally, but academically too, and the experience was wonderful. Upon completing my degree, I plan to make a positive impact in South Africa’s (SA) health system, and to improve people’s wellbeing by focusing on their health. I would like to advise anyone who wants to join the Coega Maths and Science Programme not to waste the opportunities given to them, and they should take it seriously; anything is possible when you put in the hard work, and you are guaranteed to reap the rewards.”

Lastly, but certainly not least, is Sinovuyo Kostauli (22) from eQonce (formerly known as King Williams Town) in the EC who is also pursuing her career in the Aviation sector. “I was fortunate to learn about the Coega Maths and Science Programme from my grandmother, whose colleague had a child also enrolled in the programme. What it meant for me to be part of this programme is that ’you can go as far as your mind lets you.’ Prior to being in the programme, I did not focus too much on my studies neither did I give my best effort. The programme however validated me academically, and it encouraged me ‘to hold my head up high.’ I am currently doing my Pilot Training in East London. After qualifying, I want to pursue a career as a Commercial Pilot, and to inspire others to join the aviation sector.”

The Coega Maths and Science Programme has seen a steady uptake of learners since its inception almost 10 years ago. “Over the years, enrolment increased from 45 to 100 learners a year, achieved an average pass rate of 92% for Mathematics and 96% for Physical Science.

“With the necessary stakeholders support and urgently required funding, we want to enroll more learners each year, and to increase the number of young people who pass Maths and Science,” concludes Eldon.

For more information, please contact: [email protected]

You can also learn more about other programmes offered by the Coega Development Foundation here: http://www.coega.co.za/DataRepository/Documents/91DA4zmpKfs7ThcIYw4uM4UIY.pdf

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