Promaths provides extra maths and science tuition for black learners in grades 10 to 12, at under-resourced schools across South Africa. Investec supports Promaths centres, run by implementing partner, Kutlwanong Maths, Science and Technology Centre, in townships and rural communities in six provinces. The programme supports learners who show potential in maths and science to produce results in these subjects that will enable them to gain entry into scarce skills studies and careers, as well as access funding for tertiary studies and, ultimately, become active economic participants.
Founded in 2005, Promaths is a partnership between Investec, Kutlwanong Maths, Science and Technology Centre, and the Department of Basic Education (DBE). Kultwanong is responsible for the recruitment of maths and science teachers and learners who show potential in these subjects; teacher development, including workshops and weekly subject meetings for more than 2 000 teachers; monitoring and evaluation; and assisting learners with career planning. The DBE recommends feeder schools in each of the districts where the programme operates. The Promaths programme operates a total of 22 centres in seven provinces.
Social benefits: Boosting matric results and tertiary participation
Investec funds nine Promaths centres in six provinces and, since the programme’s inception, the company has funded around 7 500 participating learners. Grade 10s, 11s and 12s spend six, eight and 12 hours in extra lessons each week, respectively, which amounts to a total of 40 weeks of additional support annually.
In 2018 alone, Investec funded 3 960 Promaths learners from 379 schools, 1 176 of whom wrote matric maths and 1 173 of whom wrote matric science exams. Matric results showed substantial improvements among learners compared to when they first joined the programme in grade 10, in 2016. The Promaths matric cohort’s pass rate in both maths and science in 2018 was 99% – up from 77% in maths and 83% in science in 2016.
Promaths learners, including those from non-Investec-funded centres, contributed approximately 7% of the country’s matric distinctions in maths and science.
The company’s longstanding partnership with the DBE around Promaths programming has fostered a relationship of trust and collaboration that helps to secure government buy-in when Investec wants to pilot new programmes in schools.
As its flagship CSI initiative, 24% of Investec’s South African CSI spend goes to Promaths. Internal and external PR about the programme contributes to the company’s positive reputation.
Investec’s support of the programme helped the company receive the full five points for socioeconomic development on the BBBEE Scorecard, contributing to its Level 1 BBBEE rating in 2019.
Research shows that the type of employees that the company wants to attract are drawn to businesses that give back to the communities in which they operate, and Investec believes that its commitment to the success of Promaths helps to demonstrate its commitment to the progress of our society. By investing in the success of scarce skills learners, Investec is also ensuring a pipeline of potential employees and clients.
In addition to group CSI funding, funding is also provided by the Investec Property Fund, the Investec Charitable Trust and the Entrepreneurship Development Trust which Investec supports. The company also plays an instrumental role in ensuring that Promaths expands through Kutlwanong’s partnership with other corporate funders. Kutlwanong has established Promaths centres in partnership with companies such as Liberty, Royal Bafokeng Institute, Datatec, Aveng and Bankseta.