Kids on list for school

2016-02-02 06:00
Children attended the launch of the Western Cape education department’s truancy programme at Bokmakierie Primary School on Friday 22 January. PHOTO: Melvin Lawrence

Children attended the launch of the Western Cape education department’s truancy programme at Bokmakierie Primary School on Friday 22 January. PHOTO: Melvin Lawrence

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The residents of Bokmakierie and Hazendal have banded together to ensure their children attend school every day.

With the help of the Western Cape education department, they launched a truancy programme at Bokmakierie Primary School on Friday 22 January.

The project is aimed at pupils and children who are not in school.

Walter Daniels, one of the event’s coordinators, says by 17:00 the school’s parking area was buzzing with activity.

“The parking lot where the actual event took place was jamming with children, music, interactive games and mothers taking their seats to watch the proceedings.”

The registration desk where youth volunteers and high school pupils assisted was in a state of frenzy as pupils made sure their names were registered.

Larry Lewis, principal of Bokmakierie Primary, welcomes the initiative and expects it to grow, despite the challenges which exist.

“The day was a great success and well attended. However, I thought that there could have been more parents present,” he says.

He believes it will be a tough task to convince parents to attend events of this nature as the numbers have already dwindled with regard to parent meetings at the school.

“We want to encourage parents to be involved in their children’s education, because that is the future – a future to a successful career and life. We don’t have such a huge problem (with absenteeism) here at our school, but when kids see that the other kids are wanting to come to school and keen to register, then maybe it will influence those who do not come to school to change their minds.”

Daniels says just over 250 children were registered at the event. This included pupils who do not attend Bokmakierie Primary.

“We focused mostly on Bokmakierie. Going forward the idea is just to try and get the children to go to school, but we also need the education department to zoom in. What we did do was we had an attendance register of the kids who were in school and not in school so that the education department could focus on those kids who were not in school.

“There are a lot of children in Bokmakierie itself who are 13, 12, 11 who are not in school and younger primary school pupils struggling to get into schools. So the idea is that from the register to target those kids and visit those houses. That is why we took the children’s names, surnames and addresses, which will be followed up by the education department,” says Daniels.

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