Energy giant BP South Africa would invest R105-million over the next six years in a youth development programme aimed at bridging “the gap between high school and university”.
The specially designed Targeting Talent programme would provide holistic talent development opportunities for more than 900 gifted grade 10, 11 and 12 learners from rural schools in Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
The programme, which aimed to counter possible negative influences such as a lack of rigorous curriculum, poorly trained teachers and the absence of successful role models in rural communities, provided the “missing elements” that assisted learners to aspire to, prepare for, and obtain university enrolment.
BP, which had sponsored the Targeting Talent initiative since its inception in 2010, said that the project had enjoyed success.
Of the 200 learners that participated in the programme during 2010 and 2011, 192 successfully matriculated and almost all of them were now studying at tertiary institutions.
Of the 127 learners from the programme at the University of the Witwatersrand, 29% were pursuing their first year in Science qualifications, 27% in Commerce, Law and Management, 24% in Engineering and Built Environment qualifications, 16% in the Health Sciences and 4% in Humanities.