A second chance at matric

Students and Paul Jones, in the centre, back row, who provided resources, inter alia, whiteboards, flipcharts, data projector to the SHE-RE-ST Second Chance programme.

Wesley Neumann, educator, Pelican Park

Metro South Education District stretches from Simon’s Town to Wynberg; Mitchell’s Plain to Philippi – Nyanga -Lower Crossroads.

There are 56 public high schools in this district.

The pass percentage for Metro South Education District in the 2022 National Senior Certificate (NSC) was 78.3%. The total number of candidates, per area could be disaggregated in the following way: Philippi and surrounds 27%; Mitchell’s Plain, 31.6%; Southern Suburbs, 41.4%.

The percentage of candidates who did not meet the minimum requirements for the NSC were Philippi (and surrounds) 8%; Mitchell’s Plain 6.5% and the Southern Suburbs 7.1%.

It is evident from this data that candidates from the marginalised communities in this district contributed significantly to the high number of candidates who were unsuccessful in the 2022 NSC examinations.

The concern now is, what happens to these young people who have received tuition for the last time in October 2022? The Department of Basic Education has a National Second Chance programme; however, only two centres have been allocated to the Metro South Education District and these two centres are based at Rocklands High School and Vuyiseka High School. The candidates from schools in the southern suburbs have been left to fend for themselves.

It was with this in mind that the Heathfield/Retreat/Steenberg Second Chance programme was established by a group of concerned individuals.

On February 16, candidates who would be sitting for the May/June examinations, were invited to register for the HE-RE-ST Second Chance Programme. The aim of the programme is to assist them to receive support prior to their writing the May/June NSC examinations.

Unlike the DBE Second Chance programme, the classes for these candidates occur during the day, from 9am to 1.30pm, Monday to Thursday. The tutors who are supporting these candidates have experienced retired educators who still have a passion to see the young people of marginalised communities succeed. They are currently doing this on a voluntary basis.

In order for the HE-RE-ST Second Chance Programme to be successful, the organisers of the programme have had to depend on the generosity of individuals and organisations. To this end, Retreat library has kindly agreed to accommodate these classes, at no cost.

In addition to this, the Nolands Foundation headed up by Paul Jones, has agreed to provide resources, inter alia, whiteboards, flipcharts, data projector, etc. These items are key for our tutors. The Nolands Foundation will also be looking to cover some of the tutoring costs and looking for creative ways in which we can assist these learners. It is our vision to partner up with like-minded individuals, who would like to see every young person, achieving the first rung of success, which is the NSC.

We call on retired teachers to volunteer their services and businesses to assist with this community-building initiative in cash or in kind. Contact me at 084 725 6672 or email wesneu64@gmail.com or Jacqueline Du Plessis at 083 354 9458 or email jccduplessis@mweb.co.za