20/09/2012 CPUT Learner Support Outreach Project
During 2012 4 of the Bachelor of Education students of Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Faculty of Education and Social Sciences, Wellington Campus, were involved in a community outreach project, where learner support was provided to children of 3 previously disadvantaged rural schools in the Wellington district. The 3 schools involved were Alfons Primary School, Wagenmakervallei Primary School and Windmeul Primary School.
GOTG decided to sponsor this project as we acknowledge that these children come from disadvantage backgrounds and are in desperate need of support, mentorship as well as friendship which is offered to them by the dedicated students of the CPUT Wellington Campus under the leadership of Irene Lewis and Debbie Cilliers. We have been a part of this valuable programme for 3 years thus far and we hope that this partnership will flourish and continue for years to come.
The involvement of the 207 students from CPUT with an equal number of learners from these three schools had a large impact on a variety of aspects. Overall, the learners gained self-confidence due to the fact that their school work improved. They were able to work with more independence and self-determination, which enhanced their self-respect and gave them a stronger feeling of self-realisation. As mentioned the academic barriers were eliminated or diminished, which resulted in the fact that school is being enjoyed and further academic work will be easier accomplished.
Not only has the learners gained from this project, but the teachers are also thankful for the support been given because of the enormous need there tends to be for learner support at these schools. With so many learners in need it is impossible for the teacher to give individual support to each learner, but through this project 207 learners receive learner support on a one-to-one level. At the end of the programme each student writes a report on the learner he/she worked with and these reports are sent to the schools and form part of the decision that has to be taken about the progress of the learner.
CPUT students had the advantage of emotional growth during this programme. During reflection at the end of the programme it is clearly visible that these students acknowledge the personal growth they experienced by helping a child in need. Furthermore they received the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge into practice. Comments like “I now feel equipped to have my own class”, “What a wonderful program – please keep it up” or “I am sure I gained and learned more than the little girl I taught” are some of the remarks.
This project took place every Thursdays for ten weeks. Gift of the Givers supplied the learners with a lunch comprising of sandwiches, fruit and a juice before every contact session and other than the meal they received at school, this was often their only food for the day. Each learner received a winter goodie bag which consisted of brand new items, a blanket, school jersey, school socks, school shoes, a beanie, scarf, gloves and a snack parcel.
At the closure of the programme we sponsored a thank you party for the kids, the parents were invited and we transported them to the campus. The event commenced with the learner, the parent and the student engaging in a discussion about the work the learner did during this programme. Live entertainment was provided and was thoroughly enjoyed, more so by the parents. Everybody was treated to a lunch of burgers with juice and gift packs where given to the learners which consisted of specially packed, kid-friendly hygiene products as well as party packs. The parents were amazed when they received a month supply food hamper as well as a detergent and hygiene pack which was sufficient for an entire family. They were thrilled and thanked us for what we have done for their children but also keeping their needs in mind.
This day of fun, food and entertainment was truly enjoyed and appreciated by the CPUT members, students, parents and most importantly, the learners.