BTAINING a high matric pass rate is still a major problem for many schools in the province, but for East London Science College director and founder Piyuse Thomas the solution lies in hard work and dedication.
With an average matric pass rate of 96% percent and a 100% percent pass rate in 2014, Thomas’s school has been consistently producing good results, all thanks to his Saturday classes which he started back in 2005 to assist pupils learners who were struggling.
“Sometimes eight hours is not enough for a pupil to grasp everything they learn, so I saw it fitting to offer the classes for them. The Grade 12 pupils do not have enough time to prepare for their June, trial and final exams, the classes help them quite a lot, because they tend to have time for revision,” said Thomas
Thomas said The extra classes covered all the subjects offered by the school, and the teachers who that helped out do get paid for overtime, he said.
“The teachers play a huge role, as they use their time to help the pupils with the sections they struggle with.”
The teachers get paid R175 per hour, and the classes are eight hours long.
“Before we did the extra classes, the matric pass rate was around 68%, but they have tremendously improved to 96%, in 2014 we had a 100% matric pass rate. The parents do show support by making sure that their children attend for their benefit,” he added.
Some former pupils testified that the extra classes do help, even after they had left high school.
Former pupil Mzuvukile Ntikinca, who passed matric in 2011 and is now a public relations graduate, said the extra classes had made a huge difference. big difference in his academics.
“The things you didn’t understand during the week, you would end up understanding at the extra classes; we managed to finish the syllabus on time, and had time to revise and prepare ourselves for upcoming exams,” said Ntikinca.
“East London Science College made me the person that I am today. Mr Thomas was like a father-figure to us, he made it a point that we excelled in whatever we did,” he said.
Beatrice Oppong, who passed Grade 12 in 2009 and is now starting her own business in the fashion industry, echoed Ntikinca’s words, adding that Thomas was a trustworthy person, a good listener and adviser.
“Mr Thomas would sit with us until we understood a certain subject, he did whatever it took to make sure that his pupils are succeeding in their academics, and also out of high school.”