More than 500 Grade 12 pupils from across the Eastern and Southern Cape gave up a week’s holiday – with many travelling hundreds of kilometers – to boost their accounting knowledge in the run-up to their final exams.
About 350 pupils – 120 travelling in from as far afield as East London, Queenstown and Humansdorp – attended Nelson Mandela University’s accounting winter school in the Bay, while more than 150 pupils came from all over the Southern Cape – including Murraysburg, Beaufort West, Ladismith, Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn and Knysna – to attend the University’s George-based winter school.
The annual week-long winter schools, hosted by Deloitte in the Bay and Investec in George, wrapped up on Friday (6 July), with Yolani Tutani from Cambridge High in East London and Jewlin Jonkers from Outeniqua High in George each going home with a Samsung Galaxy tablet as the winter schools’ top achievers. The theme of this year’s Grade 12 accounting winter school – now in its sixth year – was “Be a world changer”.
Most of the pupils who attended the two schools said they were hoping to improve their accounting marks – and their Admission Point Score (APS) for university, which is the points value determined by their exam results.
“I just knew the winter school would benefit me,” said Humansdorp High’s Tamryne Brink. “I’m hoping it will help me to get a distinction, as I want to study medicine.”
Framesby High’s Kayla Bester said she signed up to experience “how they teach Accounting in English. This will help to prepare me for next year, as I hope to study Chartered Accountancy.”
“I was here last year [at the Grade 11 accounting winter school], and the school really helped to improve my marks,” said Riebeek College’s Octavia Johannes. “I have loved the [Grade 12] winter school, especially meeting new friends.”
“Besides being taught accounting theory, we are also shown how to put it into practice at the tutorials,” said Mbasa Zita from Kingsridge High in King William’s Town. “I’m confident my marks will be a lot higher.”
The winter school follows the same academic model as the university’s School of Accounting, where formal lectures are followed by smaller-group tutorials, where pupils can get more individualized attention. There are also motivational talks and mentoring by accounting professionals and past students.
Marilyn Thompson from Central High in Beaufort West said: “The winter school helped me to get a new perspective on the [five selected] chapters of accounting, while the exam papers we worked through and the tut classes helped a lot as well.”
The winter school tutors are all BCom students from Nelson Mandela University and include the top pupil in last year’s winter school, LizeMari Roulstone, now a first-year BCom (Chartered Accountancy) student, who said: “Accounting used to fight with me. The winter school gave me more understanding … It was no longer a subject to me, it was my career … I wanted to be a tutor this year so I could share my knowledge and help someone else, just as others had helped me.”
George winter school tutor Nienke van der Veen, a fourth-year student, said: “There is nothing better than seeing a pupil do well and succeed, while knowing you were able to help that person get there, even in just a small way.
“They learn where we [as former pupils] went wrong and how to better understand the work, as well as how it will be asked [in the exams] and what to expect. This is not always relayed to them in the classroom.”
Accounting winter schools coordinator, Ansulene Prinsloo said: “The school focused on five key Grade 12 accounting topics which, if mastered, will help the pupils to excel in their final exam paper.” Pupils also received old exam papers from 2010 to 2017.
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