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North West matriculants reap the benefits of Sun City-sponsored learner development programme


Last year, in an effort to help learners improve their grades, Sun City Resort began a three-year learner development programme sponsorship focused on key subjects. Now, seven learners from the matric class have been praised for academic excellence at the inaugural Sun City Recognition Awards.


Two hundred and fifty grade 10 and 12 learners from Tswaidi and Itumeleng Secondary schools in Ledig attended extra lessons facilitated by the GoMaths Foundation during holiday breaks, learning mathematics, physical science, economics, with life science and business studies an optional extra. Sun City provides balanced meals during the programme to keep learners’ stomachs full and allow them to focus on their schoolbooks. Due to the commitment of learners who gave up school holidays and weekends to dedicate to learning, Tswaidi maintained their high standard with a 91% matric pass rate, while Itumeleng showed a great improvement by moving improving by 10% in a year to a 78% pass rate.


Tswaidi Secondary learner Samukelo Mbeleachieved five distinctions – but almost scored a full seven out of seven as she just missed distinctions in physics and maths, with 78% and 77% respectively. She is studying metallurgical engineering at the University of Pretoria and said the Sun City programme and tutors made “a huge difference”. “The techniques used closed the gap that I had in math and physics and contributed to me achieving better results.”


Nakedi Ntsebele was one of Itumeleng Secondary’s top three learners. “The programme encouraged me to do more, and to try harder,” he said. He hopes to study an LLB degree in the future.


Together with the North West Department of Education, the Recognition Awards, held in January, saw top learners from the schools praised for their multiple distinctions.


Tswaidi Secondary School’s top four learners were Samukelo Mbele (five), Mduduzi Mokoebo (four), Kobanelo Motene, (four), and Ofentse Maseko (three). At Itumeleng Secondary School, there were several learners who were especially high achieving, namely Segone Ntsholeng and Nakedi Nsebele. Each received a R15 000 donation from Sun City to aid their educational requirements.


Maseko, Motene and Segone received special bursaries from Sun City to pursue Civil Engineering, Travel and Tourism and Law respectively.


The latest national matric results show that figures have improved – the Department of Basic Education said 572 983 young adults passed their National Senior Certificate in 2023, with a pass rate of 82.9% — the highest percentage since 2009. However, math and science still need serious improvement both from a pass rate and the number of learners taking these subjects to matric. The proportion of the matric class that wrote math has been decreasing since 2009.


It is for this reason that the renowned resort has invested in the education of North West learners.


“The Sun City Recognition Awards aim to not only acknowledge academic excellence but also ignite passion and inspire future generations to strive for greatness, particularly in STEM and commercial fields. We are pleased to recognise and reward the next generation of bright young minds as we strive to uplift education in the communities in which we operate,” said Sun City General Manager, Brett Hoppé.  “Sun City wants to bring back a culture of success, improving outcomes for the learners by ensuring they have grades which are good enough to allow them to apply for university bursaries.”


Viola Motsumi, MEC for Education in the North West Province, commended Sun City’s initiative. “This gesture demonstrates a true commitment to fostering education and empowering our youth. Recognising and rewarding excellence sends a powerful message, motivating learners to pursue their dreams,”Motsumi said.


GoMaths Founder Lebang Nong said the programme aimed to help learners keep the focus on their subject choice. “We have achieved our goal of helping matriculants improve their grades in their final exams,” Nong said.

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