Stellenbosch University, in partnership with Western Cape Government After
School Game Changer, Community Chest and Rutgers University (USA), have just launched a special programme for practitioners
who support learners in the after school space around the pillars of sport,
arts, academic enrichment, reading and life skills.
The Extended Education
Practitioners Programme aims to recognise, celebrate and upskill the unsung
heroes, the practitioners, who do this work. It will equip them to design
and execute quality programmes to close this opportunity gap and create a
better experience for learners.
Together with its
partners, the SU hosted the first 57 delegates who will participate in this
18-month certificate course on 20 November. The course content will focus on
the development of skills such as dealing with complexity, problem solving,
decision making, whole child development, working with difference,
communication, project management and administration.
“The value lies in how it
will help to further professionalise and capacitate those who play a
vital role in the after school and extended education space,” comments
Chrischar Rock, Programme Manager for the Extended Education Practitioner
Training Programme, which is located within SUNCEP, the Stellenbosch University
Centre for Pedagogy, a division within the SU’s Faculty of Education.
“By developing and accrediting the
programme, the SU shows that it is serious about implementing our Social Impact
Strategy Plan because through education we are impacting different communities,”
says Dr Leslie van Rooi, Senior Director for Social Impact and Transformation.
“By doing it in partnership, unlocks countless other possibilities.”
disadvantaged backgrounds have a 6 000 hour educational gap by the time they
reach high school. This gap comprises the missed reading in the home, Early
Childhood Development (ECD), family holidays, visits to museums, parks and
galleries and missed extra-murals. Extended Education Practitioners help close
this gap by exposing learners sport, arts, academic enrichment, reading and
life skills after formal school hours.
The Western Cape Government’s Chief Director for their After School Game Changer
programme, Jacqui Boulle, says they
are delighted to be partnering with Stellenbosch and Rutgers Universities to
launch the Extended Education Practitioners Programme. “This pioneering
provides people working in the sector access to develop themselves and at the same
time improve the support they provide to learners. It is the first step in a
bigger programme to professionalise and build the sector.”
The programme includes
five residential blocks of four to five days each, as well as study and
assignments in participants’ own time. It will be housed within SUNCEP, the
University’s is the Centre for Pedagogy in the Faculty of Education.
While the after school
activities fill learners’ afternoons with positive and enriching activities,
the underlying goals include the improvement of attitude to learning, better
school results and reduction in risk-taking behaviour.
Western Cape Government and its partners have set a target of 112 000 learners,
or 20% of the learners in the 1 000 no or very low fee schools, participating
regularly and consistently in quality programmes by 2019