Despite missed school days and the added stress of lockdown, Karabo Zikalala bagged seven distinctions for matric, including an impressive 86% for maths and 91% for science.
An alumnus of Leshata Secondary School in Orange Farm, Zikalala is studying Biomedical Engineering at Wits University this year and hopes to one day fulfill her dream of giving back to the community.
Reflecting on a tough 2020, Karabo says Covid-19 made her realise that she was capable of doing anything, regardless of the challenges ahead.
“Now I can confidently say nothing formed against me shall prosper," she says confidently.
Zikalala’s advice for the matric class of 2021 is to remember that there are no shortcuts to any place that is worth reaching.
“Matrics need to use all their weaknesses as their motivation to study even harder. Always aim high and do not forget to keep God by your side because he is the strength provider.”
She is grateful for the support of her family, friends and teachers who helped her through difficult times, when the pressure threatened to break her.
“My family will always be my number one priority. The love I get from them is priceless and incomparable. I am not rich, but I have all that I need because I am loved and supported.”
Support from Engen
Zikalala says attending Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS) classes on Saturday mornings from Grade 10 to 12 helped her understand all the mathematics and physics concepts and provided her with excellent study material and revision.
“I was well groomed from Grade 10 to be consistent and determined about my studies. I was taught how to study effectively, and I applied that to all my learning areas. EMSS really assisted me to reach my full potential.”
The long-running Engen Maths and Science School programme offers supplementary maths, science and English tuition to underprivileged Grade 10 to 12 learners.
Saturday classes are held at nine locations across South Africa, including: Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Cala and Johannesburg, and in KwaZulu-Natal at Fairvale High School, Ganges High School, Howard College, and Mangosuthu University of Technology.
The 2020 Engen Maths and Science School matric class attained an impressive 84% overall pass rate of which 63% attained bachelor passes, versus the broader South African matric pass rate of 76.2%.
Engen’s General Manager: Corporate Strategy and Communications, Khalid Latiff explains that the EMSS programme focuses specifically on providing extra tuition in “gateway” subjects such as mathematics and science, which are considered critical in addressing the country’s technical and engineering skills shortage as well as spurring economic growth and development.
“The EMSS programme seeks to harness the potential of talented young people in difficult circumstances and to contribute to the pool of scarce skills in the country,” comments Latiff.
“Starting off as Engen Saturday Schools over 30 years ago, Engen Maths and Science Schools are central to our skills development efforts and to help build the human capital of the future.
“The programme has worked tirelessly to transform young lives and has, we believe, made a meaningful contribution to a more transformed and vibrant South African workforce.”
Latiff says the company is incredibly proud of an Karabo Zikalala and all the learners who completed matric in 2020, especially under a difficult set of circumstances.
“Our ultimate reward is to help set them all up to pursue stimulating careers that won’t only benefit them personally, but also the broader macro economy of South Africa.
Engen congratulates Karabo and the Engen Maths and Science School class of 2020 and offers a well-deserved round of applause to all the learners and teachers.
Contact Gavin Smith, Engen, Tel 021 403-4312, email@example.com