Launch of the ABSIP High Schools Bursary Programme

The latest matric results showed that our country’s education system is not at the level that it should be at, and requires continuous improvement. Kwa-Zulu Natal’s overall pass rate of 69.5% in 2016, is an improvement on the 60.7% achieved in 2015. The province produced an impressive second largest number of Bachelor passes, and registered the highest number of candidates for the 2016 NSC examinations. Lapha kwaZulu, we also registered highest participation rates of African learners in Mathematics.

This shows that there are learners in our province that are hardworking and determined to succeed. However, there is still much more that can be done, to ensure that learners have sufficient support and resources needed to achieve academic excellence.

It doesn’t settle well with us that in 2016 KwaZulu-Natal had 10 schools that scored 0% in the matric exams, which poorly affected matric results of the province. 3 education districts in the province have achieved between 50 and 60%. Sadly we have also noted a disturbing pass rate drop here at Ikusasalethu. We understand the school was performing within the 90% matric pass rate in 2014, which dropped to 70% mark in 2015, now an unfortunate 50% range for the class of 2016.

Thishanhloko, Baba Biyela, nethimba lakho, siyabuza: Ngabe ikuphi nkinga?

As ABSIP, that’s why we are here today. We are here to extend our student development initiatives to support pupils at Matric level, both grades 11 and 12, in order to respond to the need to have a well-educated youth in future, thereby building a pipeline of future professionals in the financial services sector.

WHY WE ARE HERE: ABSIP AND STUDENT DEVELOPMENT

The ABSIP Student Development portfolio exists in 12 South African universities, with the aim to be the lead custodian and agent of youth economic transformation in the financial services sector and the broader economy.

The main vision of this initiative is also to help bridge the gap between high schools, university and the corporate environment, by enabling professional development from a young age. Through this programme we also create awareness of the various opportunities available in the industry and enhance knowledge through information sharing.

Through this initiative, we have achieved a number of milestones in 2016. These include: facilitating an internship programme; hosting the third Youth Economic Indaba and the annual ABSIP Student Development Awards; launching the ABSIP Mentorship Programme and the ABSIP High Schools Outreach Programme.

WHY WE CHOSE IKUSASALETHU?

So, why have we particularly chosen Ikusasalethu Senior Secondary School?

I am proud to say that if it was not for this school, today I would probably not be the president of the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals. This is where I was taught about values, morals and moulded to be a responsible citizen.

In living up to the saying that charity begins at home, we thought we should launch this support in Ikusasalethu Senior Secondary school so that leaners, young people and communities of Mtubatuba benefit to change their lives. We know that this area is badly affected by Social Issues such as unemployment, drug abuse and teenage pregnancy.

We appreciate our partnership with the principal and teachers who have played a vital role in selecting 10 pupils, 5 in grade 11 and 5 in grade 12, that will be supported by ABSIP in 2017.

OUR SUPPORT AND OFFER TO IKUSASALETHU

This support will be continued into tertiary level based on academic excellence, financial need and availability of funds in the ABSIP Bursary Programme. Members of ABSIP, professionals, Small and Medium Enterprises and Corporates, and sponsors will be mobilised to support and grow this initiative.

The support will include:

1) School fees, where applicable, for identified pupils from poor backgrounds with outstanding academic achievements and potential;
2) School uniform including shoes,
3) Stationery;
4) Books;
5) access to tutorials;
6) access to mentorship and coaching;
7) educational aids such as tablets to enable research;
8) and any other identified academic assistance.

We encourage both learners and adults to join ABSIP initiatives. Members range from individuals who have recently joined the Financial Services Sector to professionals with years of experience.

As ABSIP Members, black professionals at all stages of their careers are offered the opportunity to further their own professional development through the various platforms and training.

Also, the development programmes initiated by ABSIP participate in forums and seminars on key industry issues shaping the financial industry.

They also participate in forums, seminars and presentations from influential private and public sector personalities on topical issues of national and international interest;

They get a chance to network with fellow black professionals from various areas within the sector, lobby relevant stakeholders for the benefit of black individuals and organizations.

ABSIP also offers a platform of support via the opportunities to network and engage with like-minded professionals at all levels thus fostering a climate where individuals are inspired, motivated and encouraged to reach their full potential.

We need young people who from the information and knowledge that they obtain through ABSIP activities, become an influential contributor to activities in their workplace; and assume a role in the transformation of the financial sector and contribute towards the realization of the vision of the Association.

In closing, I wish to thank all the people who have made this initiative possible and I am sure we will see positive results which will help both the education and economy of the province to improve.

It is with people with determination, drive and ambition that dreams are achieved, I believe our presence in Ikusasalethu senior secondary school will indeed influence a brighter future for the learners in this area.

Also, the 10 learners who were chosen for this year are a proof that working hard pays off.

I wish to remind you again of the words of President Mandela when he said, and I quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Let us continue working together and strive for a better future for our young ones.

I thank you.

Sibongiseni Mbatha
President



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