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VUT, DBE begin Matric Winter Camp

Vaal University of Technology in partnership with the Gauteng Department of Basic Education and North West University, have officially kicked off the 2017 Matric Winter Camp which will take place from 3 to 14 July.

Learners from various schools in Sedibeng West and Johannesburg Central regions, arrived at the VUT Vanderbijlpark campus on Sunday, 2 July attending a meet and greet dinner with representatives from the Department of Basic Education and VUT.

In her introductory address Emma Welcome from the Department of Basic Education, Sedibeng West region, said the DBE Matric Camp is the vision of the MEC for Basic Education, Panyaza Lesufi, to improve matric learner performances in the Gauteng Province through partnering with institutions of higher learning in the province. While the objective is to improve performance of learners in order to increase the matric pass rate for the province, hosting these camps at institutions of higher learning will have a positive impact on learners. They will be exposed to a university environment for the duration of the camp which will encourage them to work harder during their final exams in order to be accepted at universities in the following year. Seeing that this is the pilot phase and the Sedibeng region is first to run with it, Welcome said she hopes to see the Winter Camp reach greater heights as an annual school programme making a huge impact across the province.

VUT's newly appointed Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Gordon Zide gave a warm welcome to all the learners who filled the Desmond Tutu Great Hall to capacity. He encouraged them to work hard and stay true to themselves. Reminding them of the importance of education and how they need to take the Winter Camp seriously as it is set to accelerate their path to success. "There is nothing that is impossible, through education, you can turn lemons into lemonade," he said.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic and Research, Professor Kuzvintesa Dzimbo shared his enthusiasm and excitement with the learners. Making it clear that his passion lies in education and seeing students excel academically, he urged them to keep focus and said he'd like to see all of them return to VUT next year as first year students. "The country needs more engineers and scientists, I'd like to see many of you returning to VUT to study in the Faculty of Engineering or Applied Sciences," said Prof Dzimbo.

A thousand learners will be accommodated at the VUT Campus residences under the supervision of house parents and mentors for a two-week intensive holiday school programme. Tutors appointed by the DBE with assistance from subject advisors and educators will teach the learners, with a main focus, but not limited to, subjects such as physical sciences, mathematics and accounting.