Local learners reach out to rural peers

2017-07-11 06:00
Learners from the southern suburbs (in blue and black uniforms) with learners in the Eastern Cape.

Learners from the southern suburbs (in blue and black uniforms) with learners in the Eastern Cape.

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About 40 learners from three schools in the southern suburbs have travelled to the Eastern Cape to tutor Grade 12 learners of Isolomzi Secondary School in ­Kentane.

Learners of Rondebosch Boys’ High, Rustenburg Girls’ High and Springfield girls’ schools are expected to help the learners with Mathematics and Physical Sciences through the outreach programme. They reportedly also help with Life Orientation, music and even sport.

Isolomzi is a school with a history of low performance in matric results with a previous record of a lower than 50% pass rate.

With Shoprite, the southern suburbs schools formed a partnership to help improve the school’s results in 2010.

While these learners focus their effort on week-long tutoring of the rural town’s learners, the company makes sure all the participating learners are fed and have a comfortable, warm environment.

The company’s spokesperson, Kelly Atherton, says they supply them with food, blankets, beanies, scarves, needed kitchen equipment and bedding for the Isolomzi hostel.

She says: “[We] regularly take hands with partners such as the Transkei Isolomzi Outreach in order to respond to the needs of local communities. This partnership has resulted in the matric pass rate rising from 46% to almost 100%. Last year the top learner in the district attended Isolomzi and achieved seven distinctions. Last year the school’s matric class achieved a 97% pass rate with numerous distinctions, including a 91% pass rate in Maths Literacy and 93% pass rate in Physical ­Sciences.”

Hannah Rens of Rustenburg High says they are happy to be able to give academic support to a disadvantaged school where there are limited resources and little exposure to learning materials.

She says they share their knowledge and help learners of Isolomzi prepare for their future regardless of their background.

She also says they do not just focus on the academic relationship but also share their diverse ­cultures.

Rens says she has been going to the Eastern Cape for three years and every time becomes a highlight of her year.

“We are happy we have been able to make a difference through the outreach. The pass rate has improved since we started the partnership,” she says.

Sizo Butshingi, principal of Isolomzi, says the learners are excited by the outreach as they see it motivates them.

He says the outreach plays a crucial role and provides learner support material to the school.

“This is a rural school with many challenges, including the shortage of textbooks. Our learners are not as much exposed to resources like the Rondebosch boys, so this is their opportunity to learn more and interact with their guests in broad in terms of their learning areas. The partnership has helped us see a drastic academic improvement over the years,” Butshingi says.

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