BUILDING A POOL OF STEM LEARNERS IN THE EASTERN CAPE THROUGH A HOLIDAY PROGRAMME
Learners across two schools in the Bedford and Adelaide communities are getting ready to attend vacation learning sessions at the end of the term, to brush up on their core Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills as part of an intervention aimed at nurturing young minds and building a pool of learners who will be motivated to take these subjects through to Grades 12.
With a successful pilot phase completed in the winter holidays, earlier this year, this STEM programme for Grade 9 learners is on track to continue to positively impact learner’s educational journeys. The timing of this is critical, as learners start considering their subject choices for the Further Education and Training (FET) phase of their schooling career, which starts in Grade 10.
“The STEM programme has really changed and improved our students’ comprehension and listening skills. It has also improved their marks this term in all those selected learning areas and given them the confidence they need to study hard and excel. As a result, our learners are ready to choose the learning areas they will pursue for their career path. We are grateful for your assistance and the role you are playing in shaping our students’ minds and their future,” said Mr. Tsilatsila, Principal of Sipho Camagu High School, one of the schools benefitting from this programme.
The aim of the programme, which stands to benefit over 300 learners across Sipho Camagu High School in Adelaide and Lonwabo High School in Bedford, is to equip learners with a strong foundation in Mathematics, English, Economics and Management Sciences (EMS), and Natural Sciences.
“Through providing holistic education support in Mathematics, English, EMS and Natural Sciences and by providing teacher support in these subjects, it is our hope that the programme will leave learners confident to take up STEM subjects in the FET phase and in the long term, improve the quality of their passes in Grade 12 so that they are able to enrol in STEM-related tertiary education courses,” stated Zandile Deliwe, Social Performance Manager for Golden Valley wind, which funds this programme.
The programme is currently in its General Education and Training (GET) Phase (Grade 9), where learners participate in vacation programmes. Additionally, 16 educators are currently being upskilled through this programme through in-house teacher workshops that are conducted each term.
“The STEM programme has been helpful and useful to me. It has helped me with developing new learning skills and I am now able to study independently and can make well-informed decisions about my career path and subject choices for Grade 10,” concluded Lingelethu Bobani, Grade 9 learner at Sipho Camagu Secondary School.