Oct 2022 1st edition

Coega Maths and Science Programme alumni continue to excel

Written by Nosihle Shelembe

When Nwabisa Maphumulo (25) from Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape received her matric results, she was unhappy with her grades for maths and science. Left to right: Aphelele Sithole (third-year analytical chemistry student), Nwabisa Maphumulo (qualified pharmacist and pharmacy assistant) and Sisipho Makwetu (an industrial engineering graduate).

This spurred her to search for institutions that could assist her to improve her results but they demanded money that she did not have.

Left with no options, she applied to a university to pursue a course she was not passionate about, only to find that the programme had reached its intake capacity for that year. 

As luck would have it, Maphumulo met a beneficiary of the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) Maths and Science Programme (MSP) who encouraged her to apply for the programme as it could assist her to improve her matric results.

The Coega MSP is a flagship corporate social investment programme, contributing to communities in terms of education and skills development.

Since its inception in 2013, the programme has successfully contributed to an increasing number of learners undertaking studies in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by giving them the opportunity to improve their matric results for mathematics and physical science.

Maphumulo, who is now a qualified pharmacist and employed as a pharmacy assistant in Cape Town, said participating in the programme gave her a variety of options to choose from for her career.

 “Without the Coega programme, I would not be where I am today. I managed to find a job in my field of study,” Maphumulo said.

Twenty-four-year-old Sisipho Makwetu from Gqeberha graduated with her degree in industrial engineering last year and is currently working for a tyre manufacturing company.

”I had always dreamt of becoming successful. When I received my matric results, all the courses that I qualified for with the marks I had were full. That is when I decided to upgrade my results instead.

“The Coega programme came highly recommended, so I applied. The programme helped me structure my life and my goals,” Makwetu said.

Aphelele Sithole (22) has encouraged matriculants who are not satisfied with their marks to apply to participate in the programme.

“This programme is free, and the facilitators are skilled individuals who were able to help me improve my marks in maths and physical science,” he said.

Sithole is currently pursuing his third year of study in analytical chemistry at Nelson Mandela University.

“The long-term objective of the organisation’s participation in empowering young minds, specifically through education, training and skills development, is to increase the quality and quantity of young professionals who can become the next generation of specialists in different strategic fields within the Eastern Cape and across the country,” Coega Mathematics and Physical Science Facilitator Eldon September said.

The CDC will announce their enrolment for 2023 early next year.

For more information: https://www.coega.co.za/Feedback.aspx?objID=117

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