Sol Plaatje University helps learners from underprivileged schools

Johannesburg- The much-anticipated Sol Plaatje University Talent Pipeline Programme (TPP) was launched  by Professor Andrew M Crouch, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal this past weekend.

41 learners from schools in Kimberley, Carnarvon and Upington were selected to participate in the pre-university enrichment programme for which the Anglo-American Foundation as the anchor funder has pledged R21.1 million for a three-year programme.

Dignitaries in attendance at the gala dinner included Professor Crouch and his wife Lynette Crouch, Judge Mmathebe Phatshoane, the Chair of the SPU Council and her partner, Judge Yvonne Mokgoro, former Chair of the SPU Council and her partner, Mr Louis de Kock and his wife Cora De Kock, Ms Josephine Pieters and Ms Simangele Soni from De Beers, and Dr Zena Richards from WITS University.

SPU has set as one of its strategic goals to position community engagement as a scholarly activity through which it has a commitment to place the institutional activities of learning and knowledge production central to high impact community engagement.

The TPP is one initiative through which the University aims to achieve this goal.

The programme essentially identifies the top performing learners in grades 10, 11 and 12 from a broader range of under-resourced schools in the Northern Cape Province.

These learners are then accommodated at the University during their school holidays and subjected to a programme which focuses on a psycho-social educational enrichment curriculum of deep immersion in both academic and esoteric subjects.

This programme, which is also run at other South African Universities, is extremely successful in creating a pipeline of excellent learners from under-resourced schools that enter university and has already produced several medical doctors, nurses, actuaries, accountants, economists and engineers who have impacted on their communities.

Professor Crouch emphasised that if they are to move the Northern Cape out of it’s state of dire poverty then they must produce graduates who are locally and internationally competitive. In doing that they have to be excellent in what they do and cannot settle for mediocrity.

On the other hand Chancellor of SPU, Judge Steven Majiedt, said that the TPP is important to the history of Sol Plaatje University as it works for the upliftment of the youth. He thanked the Anglo-American Foundation for investing in the youth of South Africa who he said are their most valuable resource.


Judge Yvonne Mokgoro, encouraged the TPP learners to work hard, stay focused, be consistent and be willing to make sacrifices to achieve their life goals.This was echoed by a quote from one of the TPP learners who said that “when talent fails to do hard work, hard work will beat talent”.

Judge Mokgoro advised them to live their lives in a way that earns them respect and to remember that their achievements are not just for themselves but are also for their families and their communities.

The TPP learners are at SPU until 9 October and during their time at the University they will be engaged in mathematics, language and science studies which will be augmented by life skills, dance and digital literacy courses.

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