WCG shines #LightsOnAfterSchool programmes at Provincial Legislature Building | Western Cape Government

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2021
(Provincial Cabinet, Western Cape Government)
406

WCG shines #LightsOnAfterSchool programmes at Provincial Legislature Building

18 November 2021

In celebration of the recent #LightsOnAfterSchool (LOAS) celebrations in South Africa, together with Head of Department, Mr Guy Redman and Chief Director: Youth and After School Programme, Ms. Jacqui Boulle; Minister Anroux Marais lit up the Western Cape Government’s Provincial Legislature Building (with a laser projection powered by a generator) last night, 17 November 2021. Reflecting on the devastating impacts of Covid-19 on children and youth this year the global ‘Lights On’ theme is #HelpingKidsRecover.

Minister Marais said, “Lighting up the Legislature Building reflects our commitment as the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport and as the Western Cape Government to After School Programmes and their role in helping children and youth find and pursue their passions. These programmes are also an integral part of the development of our youth and their mental wellbeing and resilience. We salute the humans of the After School sector for their tireless commitment to ensuring that no child is left behind.”

After School Programmes have and continue to play an important role in providing learners with safe spaces, access to @home learning materials and providing much needed wellbeing support in a challenging and stressful time. In a recent survey of educators in over 50 primary schools, DCAS found that After School Programmes had:

Provided much needed extra hands and capacity within schools – helping with covid screening, food distribution and general learner logistics.
Increased self-esteem and wellbeing was attributed to these programmes by 97% of educators surveyed.
Improved attitude to school work as a result of this support was reported by 89% of educators.

Head of Department, Mr. Guy Redman added that with the Western Cape Library Service located within his department, there is a particular focus on books and reading. “These programmes have provided much needed escape and enrichment to learners, 86% of whom are not at school every day.  In a recent survey of youth champions working with schools, three quarters reported assisting with platooning classes and holding classes. 88% of educators felt this support had improved foundational literacy skills. Reading not only opens new worlds to children, but also encourages lateral thinking and improves imagination. We will continue to support reading programmes to increase the level of literacy in our province.” he said.

Chief Director: Youth and After School Programmes, Jacqui Boulle, “One of the exciting programmes we have piloted this year is the YearBeyond 1000 Stories Libraries Project. Youth in various towns in the Theewaterskloof Municipality are offering exciting literacy activities and reading activations at Libraries throughout the respective communities. We are hoping to expand this programme in in the coming year.”

Going forward the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, will use LOAS and the month of November to put the spotlight on the critical role of After School Programmes in helping learners find and pursue their passions and the amazing humans behind these programmes who step up to be caring adults for learners who often are missing such role models.

Media Enquiries: 

Stacy McLean 
Spokesperson for the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais 
083 504 1171