CDC kicks off flagship programme to restore academic excellence in Nelson Mandela Bay schools


High Schools in the Nelson Mandela Bay area that previously performed well in maths and science are set to get back on track as an expanded Maths and Science Programme with additional weekend classes has been offered to them by the Coega Development Corporation (CDC).

As an enabling agent for socioeconomic development and growth, the CDC has identified Loyiso High School, Masiphathisane High School, Ithembelihle High School, Phaphani High School, Walmer High School and Mzontsundu High School as schools that will benefit from the extra maths and science classes which will be held on Saturdays between 09h00 and 13h00 at the schools’ premises.

In addition the CDC provides full-time lab assistance which operates on a rotational basis. The classes are facilitated by Coega employees with the assistance of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Golden Key Honour Society.

“The purpose of the programme is to improve maths and science performance levels of Grade 12 pupils and to enhance the academic performance of the identified schools,” said Professor Siyabonga Simayi, CDC Shared Service Unit Programme Director.

According to Professor Simayi, the underperformance in maths and science at the identified six high schools has led to the decline in the pass rates in those two subjects and as a result the dreams of those hoping to attain university entrance in technical fields such as engineering, medicine and commerce are often hindered.

“The low maths and science pass rates can partly be attributed to the learners’ difficulty in interpreting the questions. Therefore, this programme will also include English as a key subject,” he said.

The schools were selected according to their performance results over the past three years, school resources (laboratory, textbooks and study guides) and school management intervention.

“More can be done to make this initiative accessible to all scholars across the country. We will continue to seek support from the public and private sector to pioneer these youth development programmes,” said Mpumezo Ndabeni, CDC maths and science manager.

The CDC Maths and Science Programme was founded in 2013 accommodated 4 000 learners, between grades 10 and 12, as well as junior grades from the education districts of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, Fort Beaufort, Mdantsane and Mthatha in 2014.

The Maths and Science Programme, which was conceptualised with the purpose of improving the maths and science pass rates of the province, in 2014 yielded commendable results with an 87% pass rate for maths and 80.8% for physical science.

“The CDC realises that education is a tool that shapes the minds and the hearts of South Africa’s future leaders.  The organisation remains committed to empowering the youth through learner empowerment initiatives,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC head of marketing and communications.