Learning doors open

2018-05-15 06:01

Children hoping to be helped with extra tutoring have been given a window of opportunity following talks with the Ottery Poetry Initiative to use facilities at the Grassy Park Library.

Shaun Warner from the Ottery Poetry Initiative (“Poet shows kids ‘world of words’”, People’s Post, 18 July 2017) met with City representatives last week to discuss the matter after he was left exasperated by not being allowed to use the breakaway rooms for tutoring earlier this year.

“I met with the facility officer yesterday (Tuesday) at the Muizenberg offices and his manager, Melinda Adams, and Trevor Mitchell. It was just an explanation on how the tariff system works and that they were never supposed to rent the breakaway rooms out to the community on such a regular basis,” he says.

Warner was told earlier this year that the rooms were intended to be used for one-off events, but this was not communicated to him when he started the tutoring programme in May last year.

“Suddenly all of this came to light now. I told them that it wasn’t really my issue, because we were allowed to operate there. The problem is these laws and bylaws they wrote and the rules they set up with tariff systems – it is not all clear cut – as well as the hierarchy system. Meanwhile, we are losing time in tutoring the kids,” explains Warner.

However, the two parties have reached a settlement.

City of Cape Town’s media manager, Luthando Tyhalibongo, confirms that they met with Warner and that a resolution was found.

“An agreement was reached that Ottery Poetry will continue its partnership with the City’s Recreation and Parks Department, as well as with City Libraries.

The Ottery Poetry Initiative will assist the City’s Recreation and Parks Department at the Bruce Road facility in Ottery with an after-school homework programme. Learners from the community will be offered assistance with their schoolwork, and tutoring will be made available where required at no cost to the community,” says Tyhalibongo, adding: “For monitoring and evaluation purposes, the Ottery Poetry Initiative has agreed to provide monthly reports and statistics on their progress.”

Warner adds that the location of the breakaway rooms is ideal for the children.

Warner says he will now meet with the Library and Information Services Department later this week to discuss the way forward.

“The only safe place was the centre, which is centrally located, because it is two factions fighting each other from either side of Ottery.”

V To page 2.

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