Premier Zille Addresses After School Game Changer Symposium
Today, Premier Helen Zille gave the keynote address at the opening session of the Western Cape Government After School Symposium.
She was also joined by academic Nic Spaull and CEO of the Dream Factory Foundation, Lusanda Gwayi, who delivered speeches on the importance of After School programmes.
The Symposium is taking place over two days and is part of the broader After School Game Changer that aims to more than double the number of young people in such programmes across the province over the next two years, and is targeted at disadvantaged learners.
The symposium brings together thought leaders working in the After School space including academics, practitioners from government and NGO’s, donors and other strategic partners. It also features a marketplace where some stakeholders are displaying their work and engaging with potential partners.
The programme (attached) also includes a number of other exciting speakers including a school principal from the Bronx and a representative from Pratham, India who will share their after school experiences.
The provincial government has prioritised the expansion of quality After School programmes in the province as one of seven Game Changers it will be focusing on for the next few years.
“All seven of our Game Changers are focused on profoundly impacting the youth of this province. We need to make sure we reap the opportunity a large young population offers by ensuring they soar,” Premier Zille said.
“We know that regular, well-structured after school programmes improve educational outcomes, reduce drop-out rates, increase self-confidence and improve potential for tertiary education and work placement. But in most disadvantaged schools, quality after school activities are not the norm for a number of reasons including a lack of resources and poor safety in these areas. The lack of extended education is seriously limiting the potential and development of learners attending these schools”.
“The After School Game Changer aims to provide a safe space for a range of different programmes including sports, arts and culture, life skills and academic support programmes without disrupting the curriculum”, Premier Zille added.
The Game Changer’s goal is to increase the participation of learners in no-and low-fee schools, in after school activities by 20%. That is 112 000 learners attending attractive and quality programmes on a regular basis by 2019.
We aim to achieve this target through three key levers for change:
1) Creating an enabling environment for quality after school programmes including improving safety in areas, providing digital resources, including free internet, and food at after school sites and building leadership at schools;
2) Ensuring that there is a spread of diverse, quality programmes which appeal to learners’ different interests available at each site, which include a range of sports activities and arts and culture, academic support and life skills programmes; and
3) Expanding After School programmes through partnerships and collaboration, which includes working with five types of collaborations sites at Nyanga Junction, Paarl East, Hout Bay, Atlantis and Kraaifontein that have provided us with an opportunity to test new ideas and innovations.
“Critical to achieving our Game Changer target is successfully harnessing the energy of private donors, corporates and NGO’s already working in the after school space. We hope that the Symposium taking place over the next two days will contribute towards developing a Community of Practice where all stakeholders will be able to engage in a process of collective learning and best practice going forward,” said Premier Zille.
It is also crucial that communities, in particular parents, become involved and ensure that their children are attending after school programmes on a regular basis. We also recognise the important role community members who have succeeded in life, despite their circumstances, can play in serving as inspiration to young people living in their areas.
“By working together we can ensure our young people are provided with the ladder of opportunity they need to make a success of their lives.”