After School Learner Incentive Programme Update

The end of term one has come around for grade 8 and 9 learners from Hout Bay High and Silikamva who have been participating in the “After School Learner Incentive Programme”. The qualifying learners were rewarded for their ongoing participation and attendance in after school programmes.

This Programme is a collaboration between Sililkamva and Hout Bay High Schools, the Hout Bay Partnership and the Western Cape Afterschool Game Changer. It seeks to reduce school drop-out rates in the crucial grade 8 and 9 phase by incentivising learners to participate in organised after-school activities.

The evidence suggests that such active participation in after-school programmes reinforces academic performance and positive social behaviour thereby counteracting some of the factors that result in learners dropping out of school.

The Programme is testing whether such incentives contribute to increasing both the number of learners participating in after-schools programme and the frequency of their participation. The Programme is funded by the DG Murray Trust as one of nine projects across the country that are exploring different approaches to tackling school dropout rates by intervening in grades 8 and 9 as dropout rates are most significant in grades 10 and 11.

The Afterschool Game Changer is an initiative taken on by the Western Cape Government in an effort to reduce the number of learners who “drop-out” of school before reaching Matric. They identified that there was a problem with young people leaving school and getting involved in unsafe and violent situations that had no adult supervision, or experimenting with drugs, alcohol and sex which, more often than not, would leave them trapped in a cycle of poverty. A survey conducted by UNODC looking at substance abuse, risk-taking behaviour and the mental health of grade 8-10 learners in the Western Cape, showed that 44% of grade 10 learners are sexually active,27.6% of youth at school are regular smokers,22.4% of youth at school are daily drinkers,10% are regular Cannabis users and 2.5% are hard drug users.

Over 500 grade 8 and 9 learners from both Hout Bay High and Silikamva are participating in the program encouraging a culture of after school participation across our community’s many offerings. The Western Cape Government has identified sport and recreation, arts and culture, life skills and academic support as the activities necessary for the learners to be able to meet their required outcomes and with the collaboration of a number of NGO’s in Hout Bay that are working in these spaces, they hope to achieve their goals. The learners had a choice of attending the many programs available to them such as: Amoyo Performing Arts Foundation, Thrive’s Green Club, Maths Clinic, Sakhisizwe, Sniper Basketball, Sistahood, Kronendal Music Academy, Athletics, MOT, Lalela, Pascap, Soccer, Netball and Game lab.

The conclusion of the first term saw many learners being awarded gifts and certificates for their continued participation in the program. This showed the learners that showing commitment, making positive choices and actively participating can have its rewards. The day the awards were handed out at the respective schools the learners had big smiles on their faces and one could just feel the sense of pride they had in themselves for achieving the required goals which resulted in them receiving their awards.