There are far too many young people in the province who are leaving school each day and entering unsafe, violent neighbourhoods and homes with no adult supervision.
This leaves them at high risk of destructive and anti-social behaviour including abusing alcohol and drugs, engaging in sex and becoming involved in gangs, which threatens their futures and, more often than not, leaves them trapped in a cycle of poverty.
These statistics reveal the extent of the problem in the Western Cape:
- According to a UNODC survey of substance abuse, risk-taking behaviour and mental health of grade 8-10 learners in the province, 44% of grade 10 learners are sexually active, 27.6% of youth at school are regular smokers, 22.4% of youth at school are daily drinkers, 10% are regular cannabis users and 2.5% are hard drug users;
- Among our learners, just under half who enter the school system drop out before their matric which is ascribed in part to falling behind academically and experiencing a lack of belonging; and
- The narrow unemployment rate among our youth under 25 stands at 52% (Poverty and Inequality Institute)
It is clear we need to change the trajectory for many of our young people living in the province.
We believe that regular and consistent participation of learners in after school programmes will improve learner outcomes, reduce school dropout rates and reduce risk taking behaviour.
This is the focus of our After School Game Changer.
After School Game Changer: Goal
Our measure of success, or Key Performance Indicator, is:
At least 20% of no-fee and low-fee learners in the Province - 112 000 learners - regularly and consistently attend quality after school programmes at least twice a week.
The After School Game Changer targets the following outcomes:
- Improved attitude towards learning
- Improved school outcomes
- Improved school retention
- Improved matric results
- Reduction in risk taking behaviour
Our Levers to Drive Change
To achieve our goal, we will be focusing on three key levers of change:
Lever 1: To create an enabling environment for After School Programmes
This includes ensuring there is good leadership, information on the available offerings, safe and secure spaces for After School Programmes, IT access and access to food.
Lever 2: To ensure learners in After School Programmes access quality programming
This includes ensuring learners have access to a choice of sport and recreation, arts and culture, life skills and academic support programmes (four pillars). In addition, these programmes must actively engage learners and build learners skills and mastery.
Lever 3: To expand the After School Programme through collaboration and partnerships
This focuses on developing mechanisms for harnessing the collective resources of all spheres of government, donors and civil society to expand quality programmes in the Western Cape. Initially the focus will be on developing different collaborative mechanisms at five sites in the province.
The six sites are:
Paarl East; Nyanga Junction; Atlantis; Manenberg; Kraaifontein and Hout Bay