About 300 Grade 11s from across the province brushed up on their accounting skills this week – and learned a few life lessons in the process.
The group were attending a three-day accounting winter school for Grade 11s, run for the second year by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s School of Accounting.
Most came with the aim of improving their end-of-year accounting marks, while some viewed the school as an opportunity to get a head start on next term’s work, and others just wanted a taste of campus life. The majority are planning to study towards accounting-related degrees after matric.
Westering High’s Michelle Drinkwater, 17, said: “The lectures are extra long but we’re definitely learning a lot – and it will definitely make a difference in the end-of-year exams.”
Lawson Brown’s Khanya Ralane, 16, is hoping for a level seven (first-class) pass – and is particularly thrilled to have a better understanding of asset disposal. “Everyone struggles with it at school.”
Umaiya Raja, 16, from Al Azhar Institute, said the experience would prepare participants well for future years. “I’m here for the experience of university.”
The fact that some of the work covered in the winter school is yet to be covered in the classroom has been a challenge, particularly for the Afrikaans-speaking participants as the lectures were presented in English.
“We have to translate everything in our minds,” said JP van der Merwe, from Uitenhage’s Brandwag High. “But the tutorials are helping a lot.” Here, students can grapple with concepts in a small group setting – with several of the groups run in Afrikaans.
Others are relishing the new material. “Why I came here is that that the work we’re doing now, we haven’t yet done in class. When we do it, I’ll know it already – which will give me an advantage,” said St Thomas High’s Nicole Prinsloo, 16.
Framesby’s Maryke de Jager, 17, said the winter schools was providing life lessons in addition to the academic input. “I like the fact that they brought in a graduate [Shammah Rose, a trainee at PwC], who is about to qualify as a Chartered Accountant, to talk to us. He went through a lot of stuff and told us that we will have to work hard to achieve.”
“I’m very motivated to go forward,” said her classmate Marizaan Wasserman, 17.
“The school is great – it’s giving me everything I need to know in terms of accounting and life in university,” said Woolhope High’s Xhanti Maselwa, 17. “I don’t find it difficult – challenging, maybe.”
The winter school programme was taught using the School of Accounting’s teaching model – which includes a combination of lectures, tutorial classes and homework. While the lectures were presented by academic staff from the School of Accounting, the tutorial classes were facilitated by 19 academically-achieving undergraduate accounting students, a number of whom are recipients of the university’s prestigious Vice-Chancellor Scholarship.
Sponsored by PwC, the three-day Grade 11 accounting school (Tuesday to Thursday) covered the four main topics of the Grade 11 Accounting curriculum, which pupils will continue studying in Grade 12. “Pupils need a solid Grade 11 foundation, otherwise they battle in Grade 12,” said NMMU Accounting lecturer and school coordinator Ansulene Prinsloo. “They also need to send in their Grade 11 marks when applying to study at a university.”
Starting on Monday, NMMU’s School of Accounting is also running a two-week “AccMaths”winter school for Grade 12s, covering both accounting and mathematics.
Author: Nicky Willemse
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