Helping hand: UCT staff and students tutored learners in Khayelitsha as part of a SHAWCO project this week.
Heeding a call from the Students' Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO), UCT staff and students have volunteered to teach matrics from several Khayelitsha schools this vacation.
From 2 to 6 July, the volunteers, including staff and interns from the Treatment Action Campaign, will tutor the learners in most of their matric subjects, working from Thembelihle Senior Secondary School. Learners also hail from Iqhayiya, Siphamandla and Manyano high schools.
The tutoring programme is a first for SHAWCO, and also the first time that UCT staff and postgraduate students - undergraduates are the lifeblood of the organisation's projects - have participated. If successful, SHAWCO intends to role out the programme throughout Cape Town.
For BA student Carl Becker, the experience has been both enjoyable and rewarding. 'Apart from kids showing gratitude, there is a sense of camaraderie among tutors,' he says. 'And this gives me practical experience I would never get in a classroom.'
Isaac Mbengo, principal of Siphamandla, believes the programme would help improve the matric pass rate, keep kids busy during the holiday, and encourage them to form study groups.
Jonathan Hoffenberg, SHAWCO education sector co-ordinator, said the programme had opened up a number of possibilities for volunteer work at UCT. In time, he hopes, staff may even be allowed a few days off to work on community projects.
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