With alarming numbers of young people across the country battling to find employment or gain access to institutions of high learning, Ikamva Youth, a non-governmental organisation, and various other organisations have embarked on a mission to equip high school pupils with educational and technological skills.
The fundamental aim of the organisation is to ensure that the pupils are ready to attend institutions of high learning and are well prepared for the job market.
With huge numbers of pupils dropping out of school across the country due to a range of social economic issues, the organisation aims to provide additional support to the schools and parents to ensure that the pupils are received proper guidance.
The organisation has branches in six provinces and has eight branches in the Western Province, and they are all located in the township.
Ikamva Youth offers mentoring and guidance, supplementary and home work sessions, career guidance, computer literacy, media image and expression and heath and leadership.
Programme co-ordinator at the Gugulethu branch, Zukile Keswa, said their primary focus was on high school pupils because they were one step closer to reaching adulthood. He said part of the organisation’s plans was to monitor the progress of the pupils who would be starting Grade 1 next year, in an effort to ascertain how many of them reach Grade 12 in 2030.
Their focus is on implementing strategies that will keep them in school.
He emphasised that today’s education system requires parents to be fully involved in their children’s schooling, but for many this was a mammoth task.
Furthermore, he said, parents were often caught up in their daily household tasks and had little or no time to assist their children with their school work.
Mr Keswa stressed that they had also initiated a programme through which they taught English and maths online.
He added that they want to collaborate with organisations across the country which are doing their bit to help pupils and create a formidable team.
“We run afternoon classes at Gugulethu Comprehensive High School. Out of 285 pupils we had last year, 85 percent of them obtained a Bachelor’s pass while 69 percent of them either obtained a Diploma pass or high certificate pass.
“And 80 percent of our pupils who have passed their matric have enrolled in institutions of high learning.
“Others are now tutoring our pupils on a voluntary basis,” he said.
Mr Keswa said they offer afternoon classes from Grade 8 up to Grade 11 and they have about 40 pupils in each grade. Grade 11 pupil, Siphelele Mavango, 19, said he considered himself lucky to be part of Ikamva Youth.
When he joined the organisation last year, he was battling with accounting and businesses studies, but through the intervention of the organisations his marks improved significantly.
“I urge other pupils to join the programme. After finishing high school I plan to be an accountant and this programme has played a pivotal role in my studies,” he said.