The South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) recently announced the provincial winners of its 2019 National Accounting Olympiad (NAO). Several schools took winning spots in both the Grade 11 and Grade 12 categories.
“From feedback, we know the competition is a valuable indicator against which pupils and their schools can measure their progress,” says Faith Ngwenya, Technical and Standards Executive at SAIPA.
The best performing schools, with first or second place winners in both grades, were C & N Sekondêre Meisieskool Oranje in Free State, Khanyisa Education Centre in Limpopo, Middelburg Hoërskool in Mpumalanga, and Rondebosch Boys High School in Western Cape.
According to Ilse Olivier, accountancy teacher at C & N Sekondere Meisieskool Oranje, the NAO provides scholars with a unique challenge that helps prepare them for exams. “It teaches pupils to think outside the box when dealing with unfamiliar questions and gives them confidence that they really can do well academically,” she says. Her school has faithfully participated in the competition for the last 10 years.
Lloyd Nel, Head of Accounting/EMS at Rondebosch Boys High agrees. “It’s a good opportunity for the boys to test themselves, see where they are, and open their eyes to what other questions could be asked,” he says. Nel also believes the competition encourages students to take accounting by building awareness of the subject.
For Stephen Ampong, accountancy teacher from Khanyisa Education Centre, it’s a chance to highlight his school’s outstanding record of a 100% matric pass rate over the last 25 years. Says Ampong, “We want to prove that being a rural school does not mean you cannot be a winner.” He holds extra classes on Saturdays specifically to help his students prepare for the NAO.
Lastly, Hannelize Adendorff, accountancy teacher at Middelburg Hoërskool, commends SAIPA for a well-organised contest: “We will definitely be entering the 2020 competition.”
Ngwenya says the Institute is delighted with the level of achievement among provincial entrants. “We believe that, apart from contributing to a sufficient supply of accountants for the future, the contest provides an outcomes-based platform that helps children think for themselves and assert their academic identity,” she says. She asks teachers to check the SAIPA website regularly for NAO 2020 registration dates.
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