Media release: #enrichED Symposium puts After School sector in the spotlight
From 6-9 June 2019, the #enrichED Symposium was hosted in Cape Town by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, through its After School Programme (ASP) Office. It focused on how the After School Sector can make a powerful impact in addressing South Africa’s education challenges.
The two-day education symposium was attended by over 250 international and local educators. International Master Principal Ramon Gonzalez and 2018 Global Teacher Winner Andria Zafirakou were headline speakers, along with Ugandan chess champion Phiona Mutesi and her coach Robert Katende, stars of the movie Queen of Katwe.
Jacqui Boulle, Chief Director of the ASP, said the After School Movement is about trying to change the way South Africa and the world see education. It is advocating for After School Practitioners to become a formalised role within education, and for schools to become the centres where new communities, support groups and families are built.
The After School Programme aims to:
- Create an enabling environment for after school programmes.
- Ensure learners in After School Programmes access quality programming.
- Expand the after school programme through collaboration and partnerships.
Since 2014, the ASP has achieved more than a four-fold increase in learners regularly attending quality after school programmes which makes provision for school sport and cultural expression. They have gone from 14 900 learners benefitting in 2014 to 81 100 learners participating regularly in 2018/19. They have gone further to professionalize the sector with almost 500 coaches trained to date and introduced a practitioner’s Code of Conduct, training programme, and a post-graduate qualification in partnership with universities. More importantly, there has been a 187% increase in schools registered with the After School Programmes from 118 in 2014 to 571 in 2018.
The symposium offered discussion groups and other group activities which allowed for sharing of ideas and looking at innovative ways to close the opportunity gaps between learners in South Africa.
The ASP will continue to look at ways of strengthening the After School sector to ensure that youth are offered healthy ways to engage after school hours, and to open doors to opportunities for the future.