Engen Maths and Science School propels Athlone’s Nasiha on the path to dentistry

Engen Maths and Science School propels Athlone’s Nasiha on the path to dentistry
Taking frist place at the EMSS CPUT Centre Nasiha LatIef is studing dentistry this year

Six distinctions in matric has firmly set Athlone’s Nasiha Latief on a path to realising her dream of becoming a medical doctor.

An alumna of Rylands High School, Nasiha attributes much of her academic success to the supplementary classes she attended from grades 10 to 12 at the Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS) held at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

This support played a pivotal role in securing her a place at the University of the Western Cape to study dentistry in 2024.

Nasiha acknowledges the invaluable role of EMSS in providing her with crucial support, revision, and insights in maths, physical science, and English during classes held every Saturday.


“The classes really helped me improve my grades,” comments Nasiha. “The teachers were excellent at explaining concepts and providing ample practice.


“EMSS also offered helpful resources for independent study. I had the chance to ask questions and get clarification whenever I needed it. Overall, the classes enhanced my understanding of the subjects and equipped me with the tools to excel in my exams.”

The Engen Maths and Science School programme, running for over 35 years, nurtures talented young South Africans like Nasiha, offering free supplementary education to over 1,500 learners annually at ten centers across the country.

These centres are in Cape Town (classes are held at Cape Peninsula University of Technology and Manzomthombo High), the Eastern Cape (in East London, Cala, and Gqeberha), Johannesburg (Zakarriya Park), and KwaZulu-Natal (at Fairvale High School, Ganges High School, Hillview High School, and Umlazi Commercial High School).

Nasiha emphasizes the crucial role her family played in her success, stating, “They have been incredibly supportive and helpful throughout my academic journey, providing a nurturing and positive environment for my studies.

“Their unwavering support has played a significant role in my achievements, and I am truly grateful for their invaluable love and guidance in my life.”

To stay motivated, Nasiha embraces the mantra, “If you believe you can, you’re halfway there.” Her advice to this year’s matrics is to “follow your passions, explore different paths, and believe in yourself. Embrace opportunities and chase your dreams!”

Acknowledging her challenges, Nasiha reveals that effective time management was a hurdle she overcame in order to achieve academic success.

“Balancing my studies with other responsibilities and activities required discipline and organisation to prioritise tasks and stay focused. Overcoming these challenges helped me develop resilience and a strong work ethic, ultimately leading to my success in matric.”

Looking to the future, Nasiha hopes to lead a fulfilling life where she can pursue her passions, make a positive impact on the world, and create lasting memories with loved ones.


“My ultimate dream is to live a meaningful life filled with love, joy, and purpose.”

Engen’s CSI Manager, Olwethu Mdabula, emphasises the programme’s focus on gateway subjects -mathematics, English, and science—to help address the country’s skills shortage and contribute to economic growth.

Mdabula explains that EMSS aims to unlock the potential of talented young learners, providing them with the resources and guidance needed to achieve academic excellence and pursue tertiary education.

Recent Department of Basic Education data indicates improvements in pass rates for mathematics and physical science. However, the limited number of learners achieving the essential 60% minimum mark in maths and science for university entrance to engineering, commerce and science degrees underscores the vital role played by EMSS in supporting young talent, especially in STEM subjects.

“EMSS is dedicated to transforming the lives of young learners, who often face severe socio-economic challenges, by bridging educational gaps, and empowering them to reach their full potential,” comments Mdabula.

As a company, Engen champions the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 4 – Quality Education, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

“Engen is keenly aware that access to quality education and gender equality is everybody’s business, and that it owes it to its employees, customers, and broader society to make every effort to drive positive change,” adds Mdabula.

“It is Engen’s ultimate reward to help set talented people up to pursue stimulating careers that won’t only benefit them personally, but also their families and the broader economy of South Africa.”

Engen is incredibly proud of all EMSS learners who completed matric in 2023.

Engen is hosting a series of awards ceremonies in February at EMSS centres across South Africa where the programme’s Grade 10-12 learners will be honoured, and the top achievers named.

Nasiha’s story is a testament to the impact of EMSS in shaping young minds and contributing to South Africa’s growth.

Engen’s dedication to creating a diverse and vibrant workforce aligns with its goal of setting talented individuals on paths that benefit not only them but also their families and the broader economy.