After-school is cool here

2016-11-15 06:00
Brent Walters, head of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Farseeg Manie, principal of Lavender Hill High, Debbie Schafer, education minister, and Brian Schreu­der, acting head of the Department of Education.

Brent Walters, head of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Farseeg Manie, principal of Lavender Hill High, Debbie Schafer, education minister, and Brian Schreu­der, acting head of the Department of Education.

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Lavender Hill High School’s principal has won an award for his after-school programme.

Farseeg Manie won a bronze award for Leadership Excellence in After-school Programming at the provincial ceremony of the national teachers awards.

His school offers athletics, softball, rugby, soccer, cycling, singing, and dancing. Grades 10 and 11 also get homework support.

The school employs a social worker to help learners and address psychosocial needs.

A few years ago the school partnered with Virgin Active and now has a functioning gym which is used by sports teams and in Life Orientation classes.

The awards ceremony took place on Friday 4 November. Manie was presented with the award by Debbie Schafer, provincial education minister, and Anroux Marais, Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport.

The award recognises the importance of after-school programmes and extended education, celebrating leaders who create opportunities for learners’ regular and consistent participation in quality sport, arts, academic support and life-skills programmes.

The award was jointly presented by the provincial government and its partner in funding and advocating for the strengthening of the after-school sector, the Learning Trust.

Marais said: “These outstanding award winners have indeed assisted the provincial government in realising our strategic goals to improve education outcomes and opportunities for youth development as well as to increase wellness, safety and to tackle social ills.”

The overall gold winner of the award was Angus Duffett of Silikamva High School in Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay.

Silikamva High head boy Stephano Nkosi says he has managed to choose a career because of the after-school programme offered at his school.

“Thanks to the programmes and clubs, I have been involved in over the past three years, I don’t just dream to be a soccer player, now I know I am interested in business management and finance,” he says.

As a model of comprehensive after-school programming, all of the 21 staff members of Silikamva High provide after-school activities, creating a culture of expanded education. This dedicated teacher support is enriched by the provincial department of cultural affairs and sport and eight other NGOs towards offering 30 different activities in athletics, sport, culture, artistic, academic and life skills. It is mandatory for learners to attend a minimum of two after-school programme activities.

Duffett says his after-school programme “is not to be seen as an additional element of school life, but is part of developing each individual’s talents choices and leadership capacity”.

The runner-up of the provincial after-school programme award was De Rust Futura in Grabouw.

School principal Wandred Theunis believes that after-school programmes are part of his education offering.

The school’s programme is offered by volunteers and a handful of paid staff, thanks to the support of the department of social development’s partial aftercare programme. The De Rust programme offers quality, safe care, meals, life skills, academic support, arts and cultural activities and physical development programmes. As is the case with Silikamva, learners here can choose from a host of programmes.

Betsie Ryke, executive officer of the Rural Arts Network says: “The words ‘no’ and ‘not possible’ are not in Theunis’s vocabulary.

“He sees the opportunity in everything and finds ways to make the seemingly impossible happen. Theunis has proven his ability to not only start and maintain projects, but to make them sustainable.”

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