Limpopo learner among national top performers in SAIPA National Accounting Olympiad 2017

Felicia Makondo from EPP Mhinga Secondary School held Limpopo province’s name high in the South African Institute of Professional Accountants’ (SAIPA’s) 2017 National Accounting Olympiad by reaching the national top five and regional first place in the Grade 11 division.

Her exact position nationally and percentage achieved will be announced at a formal gala event in Johannesburg on 10 October.

Limpopo also accounted for 39 of the 390 schools that took part in the competition this year.

In the past the Olympiad only targeted Grade 12 learners, but this year Grade 11 pupils were included for the first time and 1 750 pupils from the total number of schools participated.

Participating pupils are required to pass the benchmark of 65% or more for Grade 12 pupils, and 60% or more for Grade 11 pupils in the first paper to progress to the second paper.

With Felicia first in the top three of the Grade 11 regional division, the regional second place is occupied by Lutricia le Roux from Noorderland High School with 90%, followed by Nkuriso Mabunda from Khanyisa Education Centre with a score of 86%.

The top three Grade 12 performers in the province is Belinda Nzadi from Merensky High School in the first place with 88.50%, followed by Madimetja Thabang Letsoalo of Noorderland High School with a score of 88% and Makungo Makungo from Thengwe High School who achieved 87.5%.

SAIPA initiated the competition 15 years ago and has been honouring top performing students who study Accounting and Mathematics in private and public schools. The competition is open to all nine provinces and all have shown remarkable results over the years.

Zobuzwe Ngobese, Marketing and Communication Executive at SAIPA, says all five regions have “come to the table”.

In the Northern Cape only eight schools participated this year, 24 in the Eastern Cape and 47 in the Western Cape. In KwaZulu-Natal 55 schools participated and 41 in the Free State. Limpopo had 39 participating schools, Mpumalanga 17 and North West 16.

“The final results have historically been a mixed bag with not one region being dominant over the others. The performance in private and public schools has remained on par and the performance between genders have been equally spread.”

Learners benefit from exposure

“The benefits for participating learners is the early exposure to the Accountancy profession. They also get an opportunity to prepare for their final examination and to win some sought-after prizes such as computers and bursaries for the top performers.”

Ngobese points out that the aim with the competition is to instil an awareness of the importance of the Accountancy profession for a developing country like South Africa. He adds that it will be detrimental to the country if we see a decline in the number of learners taking Accounting and Mathematics as subjects, as there is already a shortage of qualified accountants in South Africa.

Strategic teacher training project

SAIPA has over the years compiled a list of schools where the performance of learners has lagged behind. The institute has assisted poor performing schools in the past with SAIPA members, who are Professional Accountants (SA), offering extra classes to struggling learners.

However, SAIPA will embark on a new initiative in 2018 where it will target teachers in those poor performing schools. Ngobese says they want to assist the teachers to teach their pupils more efficiently.

“That is an intervention we can measure. We will be able to see if there is improvement in the performance of the students from those identified schools.”

11 September 2017