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Post-school Bridging Project



The three projects in this portfolio offer post matric learners an opportunity to improve their Mathematics, Science and English results to enter into Science careers at tertiary level. The initiative serves as a bridge for learners between Grade 12 and university.

Link to Evaluation Report:

Name of Organisation/service provider: Reunert College, Midlands College, Star Schools

Duration of Project: 2016 – 2018

Programme: Schools Programme

Where is the Project based: Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal



The Post-School Bridging Project offers one-year post-school programmes to learners who completed Grade 12 and want to improve their Mathematics and Physical Science results to enable them to enter tertiary education fields requiring high pass levels in these subjects.

These bridging interventions will offer more than an opportunity to rewrite Grade 12 by ensuring that learners develop foundational knowledge in Mathematics and Science and life skills required for tertiary level study. The Zenex Foundation is partnering with three bridging schools in this respect, namely: Reunert College; Midlands College and Star Schools.

The specific outcome of the bridging support project is an increased number of Black (African, Indian and Coloured) learners who, after a one-year post-school bridging support, qualify for university entrance with a quality pass in Mathematics and Science. The Foundation has defined a quality pass as a Level 5 or 60% and above.

Challenges to be addressed

South Africa has a problem of too few learners taking up Mathematics and Science as subjects, especially Black learners. Of the few that take Mathematics and Science, the quality of performance is poor. Some reasons for the low participation and poor quality of results include perceptions by learners and parents that Mathematics and Science are difficult subjects, and cumulative learner backlogs in these subjects as a result of the dearth of suitably qualified teachers.

This initiative focuses on addressing the low participation rates of learners who enter university in Mathematics and Science and the poor quality, thereby adding to the pool of high quality performance in these subjects.

Details of the project interventions

The bridging support model selects learners who have completed the National Senior Certificate (Grade 12) and who have not attained quality passes to enter university in Mathematics and Science career fields. It provides a second chance to gain quality marks in Mathematics, Science and in English.

The model offers a one-year support intervention comprising extensive academic tuition in Mathematics, Science, English and/or Academic English and/or Business English on a full time basis after completing Grade 12. In preparing learners holistically to cope with university, the support offers computer skills, life skills and other value added components such as tertiary access support.

Selection criteria

The selection process undertaken by the three projects have some common elements and some nuances as follows:

Reunert College Midlands College Star Schools
Selection is based on a profile of the learner based on the following criteria for learners:

  • Be under the age of 21 years.
  • Have completed the Grade 12.
  • Have previously written the NSC examinations.
  • Have Mathematics, and Science and/or Accounting as Grade 12 school subjects.
  • Be able to attend the REUNERT College full time for one year.
  • Undertake the REUNERT internal assessment test.   This test consists of 5 sections: Mental Alertness, Perception, English, Mathematics and Sequencing.
  • Attend an interview with REUNERT Management.
Selection is based on academic potential as well as financial need. In order to be considered, learners need to:

  • Have completed Grade 12, with a pass in Mathematics, Physical Science and English – as per their Statement of Results.
  • Obtained a minimum of 24 points based on the university entrance points system.
  • Have a written testimonial of good standing from their school.
  • Provide a motivational letter.
Selection is based on meeting the criteria as follows:

  • Learners must have previously written the Grade 12 NSC exams between 2012 and 2015.
  • All learners must register for Mathematics, Physical Science and English.
  • Learners can only register for a subject that is reflected on their statement of results, i.e. a learner cannot undertake to do a new subject.
  • Only learners who have achieved a minimum of 40% in a subject are allowed to register for that subject.
  • Learners must be in possession of a South African ID document and a valid statement of results.
  • Learners’ previous SBA (School Based Assessment) mark will still be valid and thus they will not be required to redo the SBA portfolio.


Zenex additional selection criteria

As part of the recruitment strategy, the following conditions, as stipulated by Zenex, must be met:

  • 100% of the learners must be Black (African, Indian and Coloured).
  • All learners must achieve at least 50% in the Zenex Mathematics, English and critical thinking selection tests.

Zenex will support a total of 393 learners over the period 2016 to 2018.

Implementation strategy

The three partners offer different implementation strategies as follows:

  • The Reunert College design and content offers a package to serve two streams of foci at REUNERT, namely the academic stream and the work placement stream of learners.
  • The Midlands Community College offers elements that serve two streams of foci, namely the academic stream into university and a stream to pursue diploma courses at Colleges.
  • The Star Schools Matric Re-write Programme does not offer extensive subject teaching by teachers. The teaching focuses on supplementary teaching, rather than covering the entire curriculum. However, Star Schools has an online tutoring model that supplements the subject teaching which focuses on individual learning supported online by subject experts. Star schools follows a targeted methodology which aligns to the curriculum prescribed by the National DBE. The methodology is based on four components namely Expose (to develop underlying principles of content), Understand (Application through working with examples and activities), Experience (contextual learning) and Assess (competence tests to ensure corrective action).

Zenex aims to expand and strengthen the bridging support implementation model by testing new models of intervening through bridging support and achieving outcomes of increased number of disadvantaged learners accessing tertiary studies.


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