University accepts first group of matrics from mentoring programme

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A visionary programme to excite rural schoolchildren about the joy of academic study – and to work for economic progress in the rural Eastern Cape – is starting to bear fruit for the University of Fort Hare. Three years ago, the university reached out to hundreds of high school pupils around Alice, and mentored them in economics and mathematics. University  spokesperson Khotso Moabi said the university accepted the first group of matriculants from the programme this year. They enrolled for BCom degrees.

The hope is that the students, upon graduating, will get involved in building the province’s rural economy.

Moabi said: “These students are mentored through high school and encouraged to take up economics as their major at the university. In the university’s 2017-2018 plan, career guidance was given to the pupils studying economics. Under the sponsorship of Nedbank, the university will hand over cash to three outstanding pupils who were part of the 2017-2018 programme. The first prize is R2,000, second R1,000 and third R700.”


Although the university is expanding the ambit of the programme to include other rural schools in a 200km radius of Alice, it also wants to include some schools closer to the East London campus. The programme has faced difficulties in travelling to the schools, providing learning support and dealing with poor access to computers and ICT learning facilities. To overcome distances, the university turned to electronic learning materials, especially in providing mathematics support, said Moabi.

Professor Munacinga Simatele, who holds the Nedbank chair of economics, said: “Although we continue to be proud of the strides we have made with the project, there is a need for the schools to have better access to computers. “We are looking for donations of computers or funding towards the acquisition of at least one computer for each of the four schools which are represented in the competition this year to take this initiative forward,” he added.


Source Daily Dispatch