Nine Tenths Mentoring Programme

Nine Tenths Mentoring Programme is a transformative and collaborative initiative dedicated to equipping Grade 12 learners in local participating schools with the tools they need to navigate their final year of high school, and reach their maximum potential. The programme involves mentorship bewteen a Rhodes University student volunteer and a Matric learner mentee. Through a series of nine guided and structured contact sessions, each learner receives personalised attention from their mentor. 

These mentors undergo comprehensive training via an Rhodes University accredited short course. This rigorous qualification demands an exceptional commitment, with participants devoting over 100 hours of dedicated effort. Annually, the programme sees about 100 student volunteers qualifying as mentors. This accomplishment stands as a testament to the unwavering dedication to the program and its vital role in revitalising the educational landscape of Makhanda.


Impact of Nine Tenths

The impact of Nine Tenths is reflected in the achievements of its mentees. In terms of academic achievements, among a total of 196 mentees, we have secured an impressive count of 116 Bachelor passes, 61 Diploma Passes and 9 Higher Certificates. These achievements resulted in an impressive 72% of the Nine Tenths cohort attaining a robust Matric pass, securing opportunities for higher education at both bachelor and diploma levels. Among these accomplishments, there have been 41 acceptances to Rhodes University into mainstream degree programmes, along with 21 students participating in the Rhodes Occasional Bridging Programme, and an additional 3 students gaining admission to other universities. 

Additionally, the program celebrated the graduation of its inaugural 2016 mentee cohort in 2021, with 12 undergraduate and 10 postgraduate graduands, including several pursuing second or third degrees. This number grows annually! 

Our impact extends beyond individual achievements, reflecting in the broader educational landscape. Makhanda's public school pass rate stands at a commendable 85%, surpassing both the Eastern Cape (EC) average of 77% and the national average of 80.1%. This places us 5% above the national average and 8% above the EC average. From being one of the worst-performing districts in South Africa in 2016, we have emerged as the best-performing city in the EC Province for the third consecutive year.

A significant milestone is the elevation of two no-fee schools to the top three ranks, marking a historic accomplishment. Makhanda East schools, without fee requirements, have outperformed two fee-paying public schools. Notably, Kutliso Daniels achieved an impressive 88.9% pass rate, securing the second position in the city rankings, while Nombulelo attained an 87.4% pass rate, securing the third position in Makhanda. These results positioned them after VG, leading with a perfect 100% pass rate, and preceding Graeme College with 85.7%, Ntsika with 82.8%, Mary Waters with 82.3%, and PJ Olivier with 77.8%.

Remarkably, the quality of bachelor passes has seen a substantial upswing. In 2022, a total of 305 bachelor passes were achieved, a significant improvement compared to Makhanda's prior record of 250 bachelors before 2021. Notably, the distribution of bachelor passes has evolved significantly since 2018. In 2018, fee-paying public schools contributed 57% of the bachelor passes, while no-fee schools made up 43%. By 2022, the contribution from no-fee schools surged to an impressive 66%, underscoring the vital role these institutions play in academic success. A milestone worth celebrating is that, for the first time in Makhanda's history, a no-fee school, Nombulelo, secured the highest number of Bachelor passes, achieving an exceptional count of 80 bachelors.

The program's continuous growth and impact are underlined by recent advancements, including the establishment of a student research group. This interdisciplinary team undertakes comprehensive impact studies, evaluating various facets of the program's influence, with contributions from diverse faculties such as sociology, politics, economics, and psychology.

Furthermore, the implementation of internet access at partner schools in collaboration with a local internet provider has facilitated enhanced virtual mentoring capabilities, including video calls. This technological enhancement has enabled the program to accommodate a larger cohort of mentees, reaching a record number of 210 students.

The remarkable contributions of the Nine Tenths Matric Mentoring program have been acknowledged on a global scale. The program secured the prestigious Tallories Network MacJannet Award for Global Citizenship, claiming the coveted first prize. This recognition is a testament to the program's profound impact and its embodiment of the values of global citizenship and positive change.

Mabizela, our Vice-Chancellor, emphasises the significance of this accolade, highlighting how the program's student participants are fostering positive change and addressing societal inequalities. This award serves as a beacon of inspiration, encouraging continued collaboration and a steadfast commitment to driving broader social transformation.


Applications for student volunteers


Nine Tenths Strategic Plan


For more information: Anna Kinsler - 

Last Modified: Wed, 07 Feb 2024 15:49:51 SAST