70 pupils to get top schooling
DISADVANTAGED Grade 9 learners have been given an opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to study at a private school for the next three years.
The Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA) secured funding for about 70 grade nine learners from economically disadvantaged schools to go through their Mathematics and English programme.
Programme Manager Ros Jaff said it was a significant opportunity for independent schools to show their commitment to national skills development in a critical area.
At least three schools in the Eastern Cape will participate in the programme. Other provinces include Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
The programme, the brainchild of ISASA, began in 2007 and at least 320 learners have gone through it. There are currently 215 learners enrolled at 16 ISASA schools.
Jaff said all the learners who went through the programme passed their matric and many studied further.
“We ensure they work hard enough in order to secure bursaries or scholarships to study at tertiary institutions. Many go on to study Actuarial Science, mathematics, medicine and engineering,” she said.
Jaff said the programme helped provide learners with a platform to reach their potential.
“There are learners out there who are hungry for education and have the skills, but do not have the means to reach their full potential. That is what we provide,” she said.
Learners in disadvantaged schools with an average of at least 60% in mathematics, English and science are eligible for the programme.
ISASA is also offering about 20 university graduates and learners who passed matric an opportunity to become teachers through its Teacher Internship Programme.
The programme will provide the new recruits with a way to become intermediate and Further Educational Training (FET) teachers of Maths, English and science.
“The carefully selected recruits are placed full-time in well- resourced, quality independent schools where they become fully involved in the life of these schools while being mentored by top teachers,” said Jaff.
“During this time, they have full bursaries for all their distance academic studies through UNISA and are given a stipend every month.”
Dumisani Loro, 27, said the programme would help provide the country with well-resourced teachers.
“There are teachers out there who work hard, but those who don’t make it difficult for there to be success stories from some public schools in the country.
“It should not just be private schools who provide learners with quality education; public schools should too,” said the prospective teacher from Port Elizabeth.
Loro, who is currently in his final year studying towards a B.Sc degree with UNISA said he was grateful for this opportunity as it would help him provide for his family.
“I live with my parents and two cousins and I send as much money as I can from my stipend. I will be able to take care of them better once I have qualified,” he said.
Applications for both programmes close on Friday, August 20 and can be found on www.isasa.org or can be faxed to 011 648 1467 or mailed to PO Box 87430, Houghton, 2041.