Gauteng schools once again took top honours at the South African Reserve Bank (SARB)’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Schools Challenge.

The MPC Schools Challenge is one of the channels the SARB uses to engage learners on how the MPC sets the repurchase (repo) rate. The challenge offers learners an opportunity to grow their understanding of how the economy works and the significance of monetary policy in ensuring the economic well-being of all South Africans by giving learners an opportunity to put classroom Economics into practice.

Marais Viljoen High School which is based in Alberton took the top spot with Horizon High School from Turffontein taking the second spot. They were followed by Paarl Girls’ High School from the Western Cape.

The SARB school competition is held in partnership with the Department of Basic Education (DBE).

Announcing the winner on Wednesday, the SARB said the Marais Viljoen High School would receive R35 000 for its feat. Each participating learner from the school walked away with R16 000 as well as an iPad for each learner and the educator.

“The second place winner, Horizon High School, which finished in sixth place last year, received R25 000 for the school and R11 000 for each participating learner. Paarl Girls’ High School, which came in at fifth place last year, received R18 000 for the school and R9 000 for each participating learner,” the SARB said in a statement.

The Challenge also aims to increase the level of interest in economics for post-matric studies and the challenge was also extended to independent schools this year.

The SARB said learners must take a combination of Economics and Pure Mathematics as subjects. Each participating school sets up an MPC team modelled on the SARB’s MPC. Students are provided with the resources and economic data needed to compile their respective MPC ‘statement’, announcing their interest rate decision. A thorough adjudication process determines the winning team.

The competition was initially piloted with 70 Gauteng schools in 2012 and has grown to a national competition which includes well over 400 schools and has impacted more than 1 800 students across all nine provinces.

Meanwhile, Hoërskool Garsfontein from Gauteng was placed fourth and received R14 000 for the school and R8 000 for each participating learner.

In fifth place was Hoërskool Waterkloof, also from Gauteng, receiving R11 000 for the school and R6 000 for each participating learner. Midrand High School, which came in sixth place, received R8 500 for the school and R5 000 for each participating learner.

In seventh place, the Western Cape’s Norman Henshilwood High School received R7 000 for the school and R3 500 for each participating learner while Mpumalanga’s Qedela Secondary School which came in at number eight, received R5 000 for the school and R2 000 for each participating leaner.

Source: South African Government News Agency