Media Statement: Leadership Excellence in After School Programming Awarded
On Friday 4 November the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs and Sport, Ministers Schäfer and Marais, presented a new award at the provincial ceremony of the national teachers awards, titled Leadership Excellence in After School programming.
This award recognises the importance of after school programmes and extended education, celebrating leaders who create opportunities for learners’ regular and consistent participation in quality sport, arts, academic support and life skill programmes.
The award was jointly presented by the Western Cape Government After School Game Changer team, and our generous partner in funding and advocating for the strengthening of the after school sector, The Learning Trust.
The 2016 overall GOLD winner of the award was Mr Angus Duffett of Silikamva High School in Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay.
The benefits of the programme are huge. In the words of the Head Boy Stephano Nkosi; “I have managed to choose a career because of the After School Programme offered at school. Thanks to the programmes and clubs, I have been involved in over the past three years, I don’t just dream to be a soccer player, now I know I am interested in business management and finance.”
As a model of comprehensive after school programming, the school expects all of its 21 staff to provide after school activities, creating a culture of expanded education. This dedicated teacher support is enriched by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport MOD Centre and eight other NGOs towards offering 30 different activities in athletics, sport, culture, artistic, academic and life skills. It is mandatory for learners to attend a minimum of two After School Programme activities.
According to Duffett the After School Programme "is not to be seen as an additional element of school life, but is part of developing each individual’s talents choices and leadership capacity.”
The runner up SILVER winner was De Rust Futura in Grabouw. Principal, Mr Wandred Thenius, believes that After School Programmes are part of his education offering. The programme is offered by volunteers and a handful of paid staff, thanks to the support of the Department of Social Development Partial After Care Programme. The De Rust programme offers quality safe care, nutritious meals, life skills, academic support, arts and cultural activities and physical development programmes. As is the case with Silikamva, learners here can choose from a host of programmes.
Betsie Ryke, Executive Officer, Rural Arts Network said, “The words “no” and “not possible” are not in Mr Theunis’ vocabulary. He sees the opportunity in everything and finds ways to make the seemingly impossible happen. Mr Theunis has proven his ability to not only start and maintain projects, but to make them sustainable.”
The BRONZE award in the same category was given to Lavender Hill High Principal Mr Farseeg Manie. Host to one of the first MOD centres, the school offers athletics, softball, rugby, soccer, cycling, singing, and dancing. Grades 10 and 11 also get homework support. The school employs a social worker to support learners and address psychosocial needs. A few years ago the school partnered with Virgin Active and now has a functioning gym which is used by sports teams and in Life Orientation classes.
Minister Marais said, “These outstanding award winners have indeed assisted the Western Cape Government in realising our strategic goals to improve education outcomes and opportunities for youth development as well as to increase wellness, safety and to tackle social ills. They have and I trust they will continue to personify that we are Better Together”.