Media release: New qualification equips After School practitioners
On Saturday, 12 January 2019, 53 after-school practitioners became the first group to receive their short course certificates for completing the Extended Education Practitioner Training Programme (EEPTP) through Stellenbosch University (SU).
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, through its After School Game Changer, identified the need for such a course in order for after school practitioners to gain a formal qualification. The team initiated a partnership with various organisations to get the course formalized and to get participants enrolled.
The short course, coordinated by the SU Centre for Pedagogy (SUNCEP), was developed in partnership with various industry partners, including the Western Cape Departments of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) and Education (WCED), the Community Chest of the Western Cape, Rutgers University, as well as SU.
The developed short course is the first of its kind in South Africa and it is foreseen that it will be a game changer in the after-school environment as it enhances the programme development, evaluation, assessment and outcomes-based skills of the after school practitioners.
The After School Game Changer believes that regular and consistent participation of learners in after school programmes will improve learner outcomes, reduce school dropout rates and reduce risk taking behaviour. The graduation of this first class of participants is a milestone for the after school environment, as it will see the development of a group of qualified after school practitioners who will be able to critically engage around issues such as curriculum development and implementation of programmes.
Anroux Marais, Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, expressed her pride in the development of this programme: “We now have a formal qualification that will equip after school practitioners with the amplified knowledge and skills to contribute even more in developing the after school space. We are committed to creating an after-school environment that enables children to make the most of their opportunities and to reach great heights.”