PROTEC’s Class of 2023 matriculants from the NPO’s 11 branches and projects, representing 105 high schools in disadvantaged areas in four provinces, delivered sterling results. The total of 285 learners achieved a close on 95% pass rate, an impressive 75% bachelor pass rate, and 384 distinctions between them.
PROTEC, which wholly relies on donor support, is a highly rated STEM educational support programme that was started under apartheid in 1982 by SAICE engineers, specifically to increase the number of black engineers in South Africa. Today, PROTEC has an excellent track record and over the 42 years of operation more than 35 000 disadvantaged learners have successfully passed through the programme and are now qualified engineers, doctors, scientists, educators, and other professional people.
PROTEC’s seven branches – six in KwaZulu-Natal and one in Mpumalanga – achieved over 90% pass rate, with four of the seven branches achieving a 100% pass rate. Overall, the branches achieved a 77% bachelor pass rate, well above the national average of 41%.
The PROTEC Tongaat Branch in KZN shone the brightest with the 34 matriculants from 16 feeder schools achieving a 100% bachelor pass rate and a combined 75 distinctions, which included four maths, four physical sciences and three English distinctions. The top Tongaat learners are Andile Xaba and Nosipho Ngcobo who each earned seven distinctions.
PROTEC INK (Inanda, KwaMashu) also in KZN, did very well with the 38 matriculants achieving a 100% pass rate, and 34 achieving a bachelor pass. Together they earned 68 distinctions. The branch’s top matriculants are Pamella Shezi, Londeka Msomi, and Sibongumusa Madondo, who achieved six distinctions each.
The PROTEC Stanger Branch’s Hannah Ponen achieved seven distinctions, and Siyeneliswa Magwaza, five distinctions.
Top matriculants in the Nelspruit Branch were Khenzani Mabuza and Ayanda Shiba, who each have six distinctions.
The four projects – GE Ivory Park and Altron Soweto in Gauteng, and Altron Dimbaza and Dedisa Motherwell in the Eastern Cape – together achieved a 95% pass rate and 70% bachelor pass rate.
Here PROTEC Altron Soweto was the star project with the 25 learners from six feeder schools delivering a 100% pass rate, a 100% bachelor pass rate for the second consecutive year, and 59 distinctions, which include seven maths, five physical science, and 10 English distinctions.
The top Altron Soweto learner, Somnotho Mzolo, matriculated from Bona Comprehensive School with seven distinctions, 95% in maths, and an overall average of 87.7%. He says books are his close friends, maths and science are his soul, and technology and engineering are developing passions. Next in line in this project is Keabetswe Chimeloane who achieved six distinctions.
GE Ivory Park’s top matric students are Karabo Baloyi who achieved seven distinctions, and Samantha Johnson who achieved five.
Balan Moodley, PROTEC CEO, congratulated the Class of 2023 on their commitment to their goals and the many hours of hard work they put into attaining these results. “Most of these learners have been with PROTEC since Grade 10 and have stuck diligently to the programme, making sacrifices along the way, and holding fast to their dreams of successful STEM careers. We applaud them and thank them for flying the PROTEC flag high.”
Moodley acknowledges that while the PROTEC 2023 matriculants did not achieve the 100% pass rate that PROTEC matric classes have achieved in the past, there are pockets of exceptional excellence that are a clear indication of what can be achieved. “We are already in the process of reviewing and analysing the areas where the pass marks were not up to our standard, and we will make every effort in the forthcoming year to ensure that the failure rate is brought right down to as close to zero as possible.
“Overall, we are proud of our matric learners and we wish them well as they step into the post-school future. PROTEC of course continues to support our students through their tertiary education and into their working careers and we celebrate their successes every step of the way, and welcome them within our growing PROTEC Alumni group.”
He also extended sincere thanks to the PROTEC donors. “On behalf of the learners, we cannot thank you enough for your generous investment in these youngster’s lives – thank you for sharing our vision of a growing pool of much-needed STEM graduates in different fields in this country. Through your support, their futures are bright.”