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Background

Despite the increase in matriculation pass rate in the last 18 years of democracy the quality of education in South Africa remains questioned by most education specialists and academics. In the last five years, since 2008, the pass rate has increased from 62,5% to 73,9% in 2012. However learners who passed with university exemption have only increased from 20,2% in 2008 to 26,6% in 2012. The latter is what most education specialist argue is the real pass rate. Another universal critical indicator of quality is the mathematics and physical science pass rates. According to the Matric results there has been and increase in the last three years from 47,4% to 54% for Maths and 47,8% to 61,3% for physical science. However those who passed with a minimum of 40% and above are only 29.6% in Maths and 35,2% in Physical science in 2012. This signifies serious challenges of the quality that our current education system provides.

It is for this reason that the Eagle Trust Foundation (ETF) was established two years ago to intervene and support high school students. The idea behind the ETF is to support students before they reach Matric so that they are fully prepared by the time they get Matric to perform at their maximum potential. ETF provides support to students from grade 9. We are currently supporting students in schools located in the Central Johannesburg Education District (Soweto).

The rational for this choice is that, while Gauteng has been amongst the leading provinces in pass rates, having achieved the highest in the 2012 results of 83.9%, Soweto-central Johannesburg district schools were recorded amongst the worst performing schools in 2011. While there are many reasons for this, one of the most common is that most schools that perform poorly are from poor communities and poorly resourced schools. While the Department of education has put in place some mitigation in a form of the no fee schools policy, the amount of subsidy provided to these schools is not enough to provide the level and quality of education that is required to produce quality results that this country needs.