NMMU accounting school boosts pupils’ results

2015-06-03 06:00

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University commerce students (from left) first-year Luthando Mbaza, 19, second-years Roxanne Weiss and Jessica Chemaly, both 20, and first-year Sumaiya Moses, 18, will be tutors at this year’s accounting winter school pr

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University commerce students (from left) first-year Luthando Mbaza, 19, second-years Roxanne Weiss and Jessica Chemaly, both 20, and first-year Sumaiya Moses, 18, will be tutors at this year’s accounting winter school pr

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THE Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s accounting winter school programme, geared towards helping Grades 11 and 12 pupils improve their marks and their chances of attending university, boasts an impressive track record.

Almost a third of the 520 pupils who attended last year’s Grade 12 winter school successfully registered for degrees or diplomas at NMMU.

An analysis comparing their June matric results with their December results has revealed that many of them shot up by as much as 30%.

Overall, more than half showed improved results from June to December.

Lyle Ressouw, one of the winter school’s top achievers last year, came third in the province overall in December.

This year’s week-long accounting winter school for Grade 12s, sponsored by Deloitte, takes place from June 29 to July 3, while the three-day Grade 11 winter school, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC), takes place from July 7 to 9.

Ansulene Prinsloo, NMMU Accounting 1 lecturer and coordinator of NMMU’s accounting winter school programme, said, “The main aim of the accounting winter schools is to help pupils obtain higher Admission Points Scores (APS), which is their entrance ticket to higher education.”

NMMU first-year BCom Rat (Computer Science) student and Tegkor bursary holder Luthando Mbaza, 19, who attended the Grade 12 school last year, said the individual attention pupils received in the winter school’s tutorial groups had helped him change his approach to accounting – leading to a 10% improvement in his matric results. “The tutorials helped me realise that I needed to understand accounting, not just memorise it.”

He said the winter school had also made for an “easier transition” into varsity life this year. “I knew where everything was; I didn’t get lost.”

NMMU first-year BCom Rat (Economics) student Sumaiya Moses, 18, a recipient of NMMU’s prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for top-performing matrics, said last year’s winter school had helped her identify her weak areas – and her marks had also improved by about 10%.

The Grade 12 winter school covers the entire matric curriculum, while the Grade 11 school covers the four main topics of the Grade 11 accounting curriculum.

“These are all topics that pupils will continue studying in Grade 12,” said Prinsloo. “The foundation of Grade 11 is so important – if this foundation is not solid enough, they are going to battle in Grade 12 ... Pupils also don’t realise the importance of their Grade 11 marks – these also have to be sent in with their forms when applying to study at a university.”

The winter school programme is taught using the school of accounting’s teaching model – which includes a combination of lectures, tutorial classes and homework.

Tutors for the second year in a row include second-year BCom (Chartered Accounting) students and members of NMMU’s prestigious PinnAcle Leadership Programme, Roxanne Weiss and Jessica Chemaly, both of whom attended NMMU winter schools when they were at school.

As a tutor, Weiss, 20, said, it was encouraging to see pupils trying to improve their marks in the tutorials. “Some of them come from schools where they don’t have teachers or textbooks.”

Chemaly, also 20, said, “I love seeing them grasping concepts and asking questions ... The lecturers really know what they’re talking about and the pupils are able to make connections they didn’t know in class. Accounting makes so much more sense.”

Attendees at the winter schools also receive career and bursary information – and are taught how to apply to university.

In addition to providing funding to cover the operating costs of the schools, Deloitte and PwC are donating files for every attendee, as well as 60 lucky draw prizes. There will also be prizes for the top three participants, as well as the most improved pupil. These include a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and gift vouchers worth R1 000, R500 and R350.

Attendance for the Grade 11 or Grade 12 accounting winter schools costs R60 per pupil. To book your place, contact Jolandri van der Walt on 041 504 4690 or email jolandri.vanderwalt@nmmu.ac.za

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