Premier Zille Launches the Western Cape Government’s Year Beyond Programme
Today, 10 September 2014, Premier Helen Zille, Minister Debbie Schafer and Minister Nomafrench Mbombo launched a new flagship initiative called the Year Beyond programme.
The Western Cape Government is partnering with a number of NGOs to implement this after-school academic enrichment programme in schools with Mass Opportunity and Development (MOD) centres. It will involve top matric and university graduates volunteering to tutor primary and high school learners in MOD centres in order to improve education outcomes in the province.
The programme will be rolled out at 24 schools at the start of the 2015 school year and will provide English literacy and numeracy support in primary schools and English, maths and homework support in high schools.
The tutorial sessions will include facilitated learning groups, technology assisted learning aids run out of the computer laboratories at the schools and through various clubs which will focus on developing learners’ interest in English and maths in a fun environment. These will include computer coding clubs, robotics clubs, computer gaming clubs and media clubs. All of these sessions will be facilitated and supported by the volunteers.
The provincial government is partnering with a number of NGOs to roll out the programme including Action Volunteers Africa (AVA), a local volunteer agency, IkamvaYouth, a high school academic support NGO and the Shine Centre, a literacy organisation working in primary schools. A number of other NGOs will also be assisting us with the clubs and technology assisted learning (more details on the participating NGOs can be found in Annexure A).
Over the next two months the provincial government will be running a campaign inviting qualifying school leavers and university graduates to apply to become volunteers. The aim is to recruit 100 volunteers who will be expected to make a full-time commitment to the programme between January and November 2015.
The volunteers will also be exposed to a range of opportunities including acquiring a leadership qualification, which the Stellenbosch University, Frederick Van Zyl Slabbert Leadership Institute will be accrediting and delivering. They will also be given the opportunity to expand their social and economic networks by meeting a number of influential people throughout the year and will have access to potential bursary and work experience opportunities on completion of the programme.
Volunteers will also work in groups to come up with proposals to assist the Western Cape Government in preventing school drop-outs and improving academic excellence in the province. This part of the leadership programme will be run as a challenge and will be adjudicated by a panel of judges.
The panel will comprise leaders and innovators in the province including Premier Helen Zille, the CEO of the Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC) Ms Nasima Badsha, CEO of the Chrysalis Academy Lucille Meyer, founder of Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs) Marlon Parker and social change and leadership practitioner at the Mandela Rhodes Foundation Judy Sikuza, among others (more details on some of the panelists can be found in Annexure B).
The Western Cape Government and its NGO partners will be looking for top high school and university graduates to work as volunteers in the programme who are passionate about education and giving back to communities.
The minimum requirements for participation are:
- a minimum of a matric certificate with a good (60%) pass rate in English and Maths or a University degree;
- computer skills;
- a positive, can-do attitude and the ability to manage yourself and lead others.
The closing date for applications for the 2015 Year Beyond programme is 30 October. Young people under the age of 25 years who are interested in becoming a volunteer can apply at www.westerncape.gov.za
Once the volunteers have been recruited, high school and primary school learners in the 24 schools will be encouraged to sign up for the 2015 programme.
The programme is currently also being piloted in four schools in order to identify any issues that need to be resolved and for any improvements to be made before it is rolled out at the beginning of next year.
Over the next five years the Western Cape Government hopes to expand the programme to 500 volunteers working in 100 schools with MOD centres.
The Year Beyond programme forms part of the Western Cape Government’s Youth Development Strategy, which was launched at the beginning of this year. It will create a range of educational and economic opportunities for both learners and volunteers.
Most importantly, it will create safe spaces for young people after school hours where they can learn, participate in fun educational clubs and can be exposed to positive role models. This is critical if we hope to improve educational outcomes and tackle the many social challenges facing our youth including gangs and substance abuse.
The Year Beyond programme is a great example of what can be achieved if government works together with other partners including civil society and tertiary institutions.
However, we cannot compensate for the role active, responsible citizens need to play in a society. We therefore call on parents to support the “Year Beyond” programme and young people and learners to become involved.
More information on the Year Beyond programme can be found at www.westerncape.gov.za.
Spokesperson for Premier Helen Zille
Tel: 021 483 4584
Cell: 071 564 5427
Spokesperson for Minister Debbie Schäfer
Cell: 076175 0663
Spokesperson for Minister Nomafrench Mbombo
Cell: 076 055 6280