Programme faces axing

2015-10-14 06:00
OMOLEMO GODISAMANG and Lesego Molale hard at work during one of their Saturday sessions.

Photos: 
Supplied

OMOLEMO GODISAMANG and Lesego Molale hard at work during one of their Saturday sessions. Photos: Supplied

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OMOLEMO GODISAMANG and Lesego Molale are amongst the learners who attend the Mathematics and Physical Sience classes on Saturdays at the Maketlele Learning Centre in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district in a Kuruman village.

Amidst the poor conditions and the lack of resources at the centre that is housed at an old school that was closed after the merging of the schools in the area, the grade 8 learners are striving to improve their Mathematics and Physical Sciences.

The centre only has a chalkboard and the teachers who volunteer to teach the gr. 7to gr. 9 learners, who are from the surrounding villages, during the programme on Saturdays.

They too intend reaping the benefits of the programme which is aimed at improving academic performance in Mathematics and Science from high school up to matric level.

Developing communities that rely on social grants while the youth pursue lucrative careers in Mathematics and Physical Sciences is also one of the objectives.

The centre was established this year in January, with the purpose of targeting those specific learners until grade 12.

Maketlele is a rural village, where most of the learners come from poor families and depend entirely on social grants.

Most of the learners commute to schools in Mothibistad.

Some of them have left school due to lack of motivation and support from their parents and the community at large.

According to the centre manager, Moeletsi Kgatlhane, the project was initiated by the community of Maketlele with the purpose of developing a community that values and appreciates Mathematics and Physical Sciences, and to instill the love for both of these subjects in the learners.

“Learners are encouraged to study and Improve performance in Mathematics and Physical Sciences in order to be able to pursue related fields in future,” highlighted Kgatlhane.

The learners attend classes on Saturdays from 09:00 to 12:00 where they are assisted and mentored by experienced and expert teachers in the subjects.

The learners will proceed with the extra classes until matric and will then be evaluated through their national examination.

According to Godisamang, she and her fellow classmates enjoy the programme because it has boosted their results since they joined it.

She lives at a neighbouring village in Antinaomi, and has to spend R80 a month on travelling costs.

“If only a good Samaritan could come on board and sponsor us with transport. It would help a lot because we cannot always afford to pay for it,” pleaded Godisamang.

Molale also sang the praises of the programme and highlighted that it has made his parents proud of him.

“I wish the times can be extended on the programme because we really enjoy it. Even my teachers have noted the positive changes in my results,” he said.

Regarding the wishes of the learners, Kgatlhane highlighted that, even if they wished to, it was a challenge to address some of the concerns due to lack of funds.

“We do not have any funding and do not get anything from the Department of Education, even though it endorsed the programme.

“The teachers do it during their spare time and to not get compensation for it.

That is also demoralising to them.

Meals are also a problem and the learners sometimes go hungry.

“All we have is the building, chalk, chalkboard, a few desks and chairs and the teachers and learners to work with. We do not even have a computer or a printer.

This is because some of the furniture was moved when the school closed.”

He revealed that the district department of education told him there is no money to support the programme.

Kgatlhane, to whom the programme means a lot, is making a passionate plea to the community at large to help make it a success so that the pass rate in the province can be improved.

He can be contacted on 072 576 5679

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