SAILI gives high school scholarships to financially disadvantaged but academically talented, positive and motivated students so they can attend good-quality, low-cost state schools. This solid education lets them reach their full potential, particularly in the fields of Maths and Science.
Why Maths and Science? These are gateway subjects that give future access to science- and technology-based tertiary education in fields such as medicine and engineering.
SAILI’s aim is to redress inequalities in the South African education system by:
- identifying low-cost but highly effective state schools;
- identifying talented learners without the financial means to access successful schools;
- linking the students to the schools; and
- awarding successful applicants with five-year high school scholarships that cover school fees and textbooks, and subsidise stationery and uniforms.
- support educational outings, workshops for study skills, career choice and transition to tertiary and work shadow placements;
- facilitate good communication between all three players: the students and their families, the schools and ourselves; and
- track student performance, providing extra support if necessary.
This forms the basis of SAILI’s low-cost, high-impact scholarship model, which ensures that talented poor students have a fair chance of fulfilling their potential and going on to tertiary studies. And the schools benefit too: these gifted learners raise the academic output of their school, improving its reputation and helping it to attract more good teachers – so the cycle of improvement continues.
We are proud that since 1996, over 500 SAILI students have gone on to tertiary studies in fields such as medicine, engineering, commerce and science. This makes a significant contribution to South Africa’s science and technology sector and promotes a robust, stable and diverse economy.
Why high school scholarships?
One of the greatest obstacles to successful student performance in matric is the poor quality of teaching at high school. It is clear that students with real talent in Maths and Science need to access schools that have the capacity to teach these subjects well so that they can go on to study at a tertiary level in many fields where they have the potential to make a real contribution. Scholarship to affordable, high-performing schools is a key tool to increase Maths and Science performance.
Did you know that just five percent of South African government schools produce half of all matric Science and Maths passes? (In other subjects, performance is more evenly spread across the school system.)
It is clear that students with real talent in Maths and Science need to access schools that have the capacity to teach these subjects well so that they can go on to study at a tertiary level in many fields where they have the potential to make a real contribution. Scholarship to affordable, high-performing schools is a key tool to increase Maths and Science performance.