Share

Khayelitsha woman won't be put off teaching

For Neliswa Dludla from Khayelitsha, teaching in the public school system was a bad experience, reports GroundUp.

But she did not want to give up teaching. Instead, she started her own education centre – The Early Birds Lifestyle Academy.

"The well-being of a teacher is non-existent in the public schooling sector... I have experienced patriarchy, ageism and racism," says Dludla.

But, she says: "I have always wanted to be a teacher."

While studying at the University of Cape Town she was part of the Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (Shawco) programme and a project leader in Khayelitsha for undergraduate students. She became part of the Numeric Teaching Academy in Observatory in 2016. She has a degree and a postgraduate certificate in education as well as a Tesol (Teaching English to speakers of other languages) qualification.

"I worked in a public school last year, on a contract basis," says Dludla. "As a new teacher I was handled really badly. My contract did not end well with the school, I was not even told that my contract had ended until the first day of the second school term."

Dludla says there was a high staff turnover, with pupils seeing different teachers every three months.

Growing numbers

When she left the school, she was unemployed for three months. She started tutoring children individually to make ends meet.

This led to her getting a contract at her former high school, teaching English, life orientation and creative arts and running library sessions. She says she was not paid her full salary and started looking elsewhere.

She had many books, because of her love of reading, and so she started a reading club with eight children in the four-roomed house in Site C where she grew up.

The numbers kept growing. Parents started getting involved. The reading club became the Early Birds Lifestyle Academy. This year there are 60 pupils of primary and high school age who come for lessons after school.

For the very young ones the curriculum includes English, writing, learning through play and physical exercise. For high school pupils, Dludla provides support lessons in mathematics and physical science.

She also tries to focus on teaching things she feels are neglected in public schools, such as public speaking or fractions or even something as simple as counting to 50.

The academy is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays. Lessons are free, except on Saturdays, when classes are R75. Dludla relies on donations.

The academy is well equipped, with shelves filled with books, a flat-screen television, a printer and computers. The walls are used as chalk boards.

Some students at the academy also help teach and tutor the pupils.

Registering the academy as a non-profit organisation is still "in progress". But, says Dludla, registration will require funds.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
heading
description
username
Show Comments ()
Voting Booth
What do you think will happen if alleged war criminal Vladimir Putin enters South Africa for the BRICS summit in August?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Government will roll out the red carpet
72% - 2851 votes
There will be a court order compelling his arrest
4% - 150 votes
I doubt he’ll enter the country
24% - 939 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
18.25
+0.3%
Rand - Pound
22.48
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
19.73
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.21
-0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.14
-0.4%
Platinum
970.96
+0.3%
Palladium
1,409.53
+0.6%
Gold
1,958.07
+0.1%
Silver
22.99
-0.4%
Brent Crude
78.12
+4.0%
Top 40
69,785
0.0%
All Share
75,284
0.0%
Resource 10
64,924
0.0%
Industrial 25
102,191
0.0%
Financial 15
15,417
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE