Why is this important?
In well-resourced schools, quality after school activities are taken for granted – parents, learners and teachers would be surprised if these activities were not provided consistently and for all learners. In disadvantaged schools, the opposite is too often the case – regular activities managed by schools are not the norm.
There are many reasons for this, ranging from lack of resources to the need for children to return to their homes in the early afternoon due to poor safety in their neighbourhoods. However, for children not to have extended education is to limit their potential and development.
Considerable evidence shows that regular, well-structured After School programmes improve:
- educational outcomes,
- reduce drop-out rates,
- increase self-confidence
- and in turn improves learners’ potential to access tertiary education and work opportunities.
An estimated 136 269 learners are currently registered in After School programmes across the province – in other words, learners who have taken part in an after school activity at least once. This figure does not reflect how regularly these learners are attending After School activities and the quality of these programmes. We believe if we get this right, we will see the considerable impact quality After School programmes can have on young people’s lives.
The After School Game Changer is focused on significantly increasing the number of learners who are attending quality programmes regularly and consistently – at least two days in a week.
We believe if we get this right, we will see the considerable impact quality After School programmes can have on young people's lives.
How are we succeeding?
Learner attendance in After School programmes
The target is for 112 000 learners in no-fee and low-fee schools to attend After Schools programmes regularly and consistently by 2019. This KPI measures the extent of take-up of the offering of the After-School programme. Regular and consistent learner attendance entails a learner attending an after schools programme, at least two days in a week and 70% of possible (pre-selected) weeks per term.
Professionalisation of the After School sector
What are we doing?
We are focusing on three key levers to achieve our goal:
- Creating 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.
- Ensuring learners in After School programmes access quality programming
This includes ensuring learners have access to a broad range of programmes (sport and recreation, arts and culture, life skills, and academic support), and that these programmes are fun but also aim towards building mastery. Programmes such as these require skilled coaches, and so we are also working with After School Practitioners to ensure that they have the training and confidence they require to fulfill their important role.
- Expanding 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 After School programmes in the Western Cape.
What can you do?
- You can find our more about the After School Game Changer here.
- If you find out what After School programmes are offered in your area you can visit the Edu Collaborate Portal.
- You can also go to the Edu Collaborate Portal to register your After School programme.
- If you are an After School practitioner, you can go here to access resources, such as the Practitioner code of conduct Handbook; and From Surviving to Thriving: a handbook for untiring learners’ social and emotional wellbeing in after school programmes.