Tomorrow Trust partnered with Datatec in 2014 to build on STEM subjects among orphaned and vulnerable children to inspire them to enter ICT industries when they have completed their studies. We strongly believe that STEM education is vital for a growing economy, and it gives learners critical skills, enhancing their employability. In 2023 specifically, the partnership with Datatec enabled 30 Grade 11 and 30 Grade 12 learners to gain access to our world-class holistic educational programme called the Holiday and Saturday School Programme.
While enrolled in the Tomorrow Trust Holiday and Saturday School Programme, learners access supplementary education and psychosocial support and development, enabling them to achieve above-average academic results. Learners also get exposure to STEM subject educational programmes that strengthen their capacity and thinking. Each STEM component brings a valuable contribution to a well-rounded education by increasing scarce skills and developing a thriving economy.
At the beginning of this year, we re-evaluated how to improve our approach and offerings to the learners enrolled in our senior Holiday and Saturday School Programme. With this re-evaluation, we decided to implement monthly testing to evaluate the rate of understanding and learning amongst the learners. We also included Programme School Reports shared with the learners and parents at the end of every term when the results are released. We find these reports to be vital in the development of our learners as they allow parents to witness how their children are performing compared to learners in other schools and these reports also result in learners feeling challenged to make improvements to their results. We aim to ensure that all learners improve their results and perform 60% and above at the end of the year.
The cohort of Grade 11 and Grade 12 learners that Datatec has partnered with us to impact have displayed a high engagement rate within our programmes. These are groups of learners who are eager and willing to achieve their academic goals, and this is proven not only by their results but also by their attendance rate. Between January and July 2023, the Grade 11 learners maintained an attendance rate of 92% while our Grade 12 learners maintained an attendance rate of 95% for our in-person classes and activities. The learners also had the opportunity to take a career assessment which helps us determine which career aligns best with their values and strengths allowing us to help coach them in those directions.
Tomorrow Trust is thankful to Datatec for partnering with us on an initiative that provides quality education for Grade 11 and Grade 12 students and empowers them to excel in STEM subjects and hopefully, one day it will empower them to excel in STEM careers as well. Partnering for impact allows organisations like ours to bring about social change and it allows us to change the lives of many vulnerable children in South Africa.