Hope for learners

2019-01-22 06:00
Olympians Academy is ready to take on unplaced learners

Olympians Academy is ready to take on unplaced learners

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With each academic year, learners battle to be enrolled at schools, leaving the children and parents frustrated.

Having seen how difficult it is for some learners to be placed at schools, a mother from Hout Bay decided to start a school that will help those learners that find themselves without a school.

That led to the birth of Olympians Academy in Hout Bay. Founded by Louise van Bala, the school aims to accommodate learners that were unsuccessful in being placed at a public school. Those attending are taught how to read, write and count. The school also teaches social skills and offers extramural activities like dancing, soccer and athletics among others. Operating as a non-profit organisation, the school’s main focus is on Grade R, Grade 1 and Grade 2. learners. However, they will try and assist any learner. The school was started at the end of January last year and was officially registered in February 2018.

Van Bala says: “After taking my son for his first day of school I witnessed many angry and despondent parents outside the principal’s office and the school gates. They were upset because the school could not accommodate all the Grade 1 learners. One of those children was a very close friend of my son and my child couldn’t understand why they couldn’t share a desk. I soon realised something had to happen before we have children roaming aimlessly and being exposed to possible dangers.”

The academy has three full-time teachers and two volunteer teachers. Currently they have about six learners. “The number will grow. As we realised last year, learners normally stream in from the end of January onwards, after the parents have tried all avenues to have their kids placed at a school. Our focus is Grade R to Grade 2; however, if you are older up until the age of 12, then we will do our best to accommodate that pupil,” says Van Bala.

Although they have been operating for over a year it has not been an easy road. “It has been a tough journey, but so rewarding. The innocence of a child makes me realise exactly why I’m doing what I’m doing. Currently the school gets no funding and we do not have any investors. Needless to say, this is a huge strain on my finances. However, I am hopeful that we will get donors soon. The academy is in desperate need of funding in order to pay our staff and operating costs. If anyone wishes to make a donation, they can do so.” V For more information, contact the school on 081 764 9856 or email info@olympiansacademy.org.

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