PROTEC | Sappi

PROTEC deploys learning excellence and teacher development programmes through a permanent branch network spanning eight provinces. The programmes are run in parallel to formal schooling and are delivered by qualified and experienced PROTEC tutors. The programme consistently delivers matric and bachelor pass rates that exceed the national statistics year-on-year. 

The need

PROTEC (Programme for Technological Careers) was established in 1982 with the aim of upgrading science, technology and maths (STEM) education for Grade 10, 11 and 12 learners in South Africa’s previously disadvantaged communities. 

The project

Sappi is PROTEC’S longest-standing supporter and has been involved with the organisation since 1995.  We support five branches in Sappi communities: Stanger, Mandeni, Umkomaas, Nelspruit and Pietermaritzburg.

PROTEC deploys learner excellence and teacher development programmes through a permanent branch network spanning eight provinces. The programme covers subjects such as Maths, Physical Sciences, English and World of Work (WOW)[1]

Learner support includes Saturday School programmes that involve supplementary education in Maths, Physics, English and World of Work classes; vacation camps and vacation classes for curricular and career- related activities including site visits to tertiary centres of learning and the workplace. Teacher support includes subject tutor workshops, school support visits and the supply of equipment to promote learning.

The overall aim is to encourage higher uptake of technological careers and successful integration into the world of work.

The impact

PROTEC consistently delivers Matric and Bachelor pass rates that exceed the national statistics year on year. This in turn leads to an expanded skills pool in disciplines relevant to Sappi in communities close to our areas of operation. Analysis conducted by Trialogue in terms of Social return on investment (SROI) measures non-financial impacts. The PROTEC SROI ratio of 4.22:1 implies that, for every ZAR1 invested, ZAR4.22 of social value is created each year for South African society in terms of reduced educational costs.

In addition to the excellent results which these programmes manage to obtain, with an almost 100% annual registration by PROTEC learners to enter into tertiary education targeting a range of careers from finance, to medicine, to engineering, the Pietermaritzburg (PMB) branch also targets and promotes forestry as a career. Since 1998, 22 PROTEC learners from the PMB branch have graduated with qualifications in forestry (National Diploma, B Tech and BSc Hons). 

Discover more about the PROTEC programme by visiting their website: