“SUNCEP, the Centre for Pedagogy in the Faculty of Education at Stellenbosch University (SU) is finalising its preparations to host supplementary tuition programmes to just under 500 learners in Springbok, Worcester, Atlantis, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek this coming school holidays", says Dr Trevor van Louw, Director of SUNCEP. The sessions will be offered from 3 to 7 July to mostly Grade 10-12 learners.
Mr Rossouw Mecuur, subject advisor in Maths, during A SUNCEP session in Worcester last year. Photographer: Anneke Muller.
The tutors are lead teachers or curriculum advisors in teaching positions in the relevant provincial Education departments.
The focus of these interventions is to give learners the opportunity to improve their results in Mathematics and Physical Sciences with the aim of qualifying for higher education after completing school. SUNCEP also strives to enthuse more learners to choose science-related careers.
In Worcester, 49 Grade 11 and 12 learners will attend sessions at Breërivier High School. This initiative has been funded by the PA and Alise Malan Gedenktrust since 2013.
According to Dr van Louw, the first group of learners who benefited from this intervention were then in Grade 7. “Support was given to them every year during school holidays. Now they are in Grade 12. We hope that we will see a large number of these learners registering for Science based degrees, preferably at Stellenbosch University in 2018".
Also in Worcester, at Botha's Halte farm school just outside town, Grade 5-7 learners from five other farm schools will be attending sessions to enhance their reading and numeracy skills. All the participating schools have also been issued with laptops and internet connectivity and all systems are ready to live stream the tuition sessions to all the schools concurrently. The first live sessions will take place in the new term. This initiative is being funded by the Bosjes Trust.
In Stellenbosch, at Luckhoff High School, the holiday session is hosted in collaboration with the Social Impact Division of the University with the specific aim to assist more learners from in and around this university town to qualify for access to higher education.
Apart from doing Mathematics and Physical Sciences, the learners will be introduced to enhancing their research skills; something that is included in the Curriculum statement for learners from Grade 4 to Grade 12.
SUNCEP is considering the establishment of a research hub for learners where they will be mentored by post-graduate students from Stellenbosch University on a regular basis. The research hub will mainly focus on supporting learners from under-resourced schools in disadvantaged communities and it a response to the realisation that many more learners should have the opportunity to participate in science competitions.
The Franschhoek learners will be meeting at Groendal Secondary School.
The Atlantis learners, whose supplementary tuition programme is funded by the Atlantis Industrial Initiative, will be attending their week-long session at Atlantis Secondary School while Transhex Operations (Pty) Ltd and West Coast Resources are jointly sponsoring the session for the learners in Springbok.
The only SUNCEP group that will not be attending class for the next few weeks, are the SciMathUS students. SciMathUS is a yearlong university preparation programme that affords students from educationally disadvantaged circumstances, who did not qualify for higher education, a second opportunity to rewrite specific subjects to then gain access to higher education. Applications to SciMathUS will be opened in November.
Please visit SUNCEP's web site for more information: www.suncep.sun.ac.za or phone the office at 0218083032/3483.