35 years of helping prepare pupils for the workplace
15 November 2017 | Web Article Number: ME20177598
PROTEC, a national non-profit career development programme for high school learners from disadvantaged communities, celebrates 35 years of helping to uplift education in South Africa this year.
To mark the milestone, Protec past graduates gathered at alumni functions held recently in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
“We are enormously proud of our students, who are committed to paving a bright career for themselves and who are also determined to make a difference to the future of our country,” said CEO Balan Moodley. “Our learners achieve excellence, not only because of their consistently hard work during a normal school week, but they also sacrifice Saturdays and holidays to attend Protec classes.”
Protec’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education programme was established in 1982 in recognition of the need to improve the critical shortage of engineers in South Africa. This programme, which runs in conjunction with provincial education departments, relies entirely on funding from sponsors to support the growth and development of technologically skilled learners throughout the country.
“Impeccable results are achieved by our learners every year, under the guidance of our dedicated tutors. Protec 2016 Matriculants from eight permanent branches achieved a 100% pass rate, of which over 80% of pupils were eligible for a bachelors programme at university. This admirable achievement is testament to hard work and determination to succeed.”
The Protec programme begins in Grade 10 and continues through tertiary education and provides support in the early years of the work place. Protec also supplies school materials, including stationery and scientific calculators, to help learners cope with difficult financial circumstances.
Learners benefit from academic support, social skills training and career counselling and are also given the opportunity to enjoy work experience and receive assistance in securing bursaries for further studies.
Recent Protec initiatives include the Post School Programme (PSP) which addresses the need for holistic support and mentorship to ease the transition between Matric and tertiary education institutions, thus reducing the ‘drop out’ rate during their first year of post-school study. Protec PSP is a mentorship programme that provides on-going counselling, support and assistance to students at tertiary institutions.
Moodley said Protec was committed to expanding its footprint throughout the country by empowering young South Africans to achieve their full potential and pursue successful careers as engineers, scientists, doctors, educators and entrepreneurs.