A+ for after-school programme

2017-06-20 06:01
Learners of Silikamva and Hout Bay high schools who participated in the after-school incentive programme were rewarded recently for their attendance.

Learners of Silikamva and Hout Bay high schools who participated in the after-school incentive programme were rewarded recently for their attendance.

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The after-school learner incentive programme of the learners in Grades 8 and 9 at Silikamva and Hout Bay high schools is getting a thumbs up.

With the first term of the programme coming to an end, the qualifying learners were rewarded for their attendance. Many learners were awarded with gifts and certificates for their continued participation in the programme.

Ashley Newell, project coordinator, says this showed the learners that their commitment, making positive choices and actively participating can get them rewarded.

“The day the awards were handed out at the respective schools the learners had big smiles on their faces and one could just feel the sense of pride they had in themselves for achieving the required goals,” she says.

Over 500 Grade 8 and 9 learners of both schools are participating in the programme to encourage a culture of after-school participation. The programme is a collaboration between the two schools, the Hout Bay Partnership and the Western Cape government’s After-school Game Changer initiative.

Newell says the aim of the programme is to reduce school drop-out rates by encouraging learners to participate in organised after-school activities.

“The evidence suggests that such active participation in after-school programmes reinforces academic performance and positive social behaviour, thereby counteracting some of the factors that result in learners dropping out of school. The programme is testing whether such incentives contribute to increasing both the number of learners participating in after-school programme and the frequency of their participation,” she says.

The programme is funded by the DG Murray Trust as one of nine projects across the country that are exploring different approaches to tackling school drop-out rates by intervening in Grades 8 and 9 as drop-out rates are highest in Grades 10 and 11.

The After-school Game Changer initiative by the provincial government is also an effort to reduce the number of learners who leave school before reaching matric.

“They identified that there was a problem with young people leaving school and getting involved in unsafe and violent situations that had no adult supervision, or experimenting with drugs, alcohol and sex which, more often than not, would leave them trapped in a cycle of poverty,” says Newell.

“The learners had a choice of attending the many programmes available to them, such as Amoyo Performing Arts Foundation, Thrive’s Green Club, Maths Clinic, Sakhisizwe, Sniper basketball, Sistahood, Kronendal Music Academy, athletics, MOT, Lalela, Pascap, soccer, netball and Game lab,” she says.

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