Percy Mdala High School Homework Club visits Eden Campus
26 Mar 2013
Canadian’s Jim and Janet Biggar founded the youth organisation ‘Iizidima Africa’ as they believe ‘Empowered Youth Become Tomorrow’s Role Models’. They are committed TSiBA Eden volunteers doing amazing work with youth in schools in the Knysna townships.
In addition to Iizideima’s various Homework Club activities and English conversation sessions, the past couple weeks included field trips to local universities and colleges – on of which was TSiBA Eden. None of the youths had ever been to a university or college, so Jim and Janet said it was a ‘big deal’ for them.
TSiBA Eden were thrilled to host tours of the campus for kids from Percy Mdala High School giving them the opportunity to see the facilities, learn about available programmes, and ask questions of existing students about campus life and academic demands.
Unfortunately many students lack basic information regarding admission requirements to post-secondary institutions due to a variety of reasons like no guidance counsellors in township schools, dysfunctional home environments, and/or the absence of an educated parent in the home. These important issues, along with information about tuition scholarships to TSiBA Eden and other supported study opportunities like the South African government student loan program (NSFAS) were addressed during the outings.
Interestingly, it was the current TSiBA students who emphasized to the kids the need to study hard at high school and the importance of studying to understand lessons, not simply to pass. The latter issue is a big problem in South Africa. The mindset of studying to pass, and being content with a pass, is exacerbated by the fact that the official passing grade in South Africa is only 40%. Admission requirements for college diplomas include minimum grades of 40-49%, and 50-59% or University degree programs.
The field trips were was totally worthwhile and motivating for the youth and one of them even commented that the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University looked just like “one of those American Universities you see on television”.
Thanks Jim & Janet for all that you do - we hope that the kids will study hard and we will see some of them apply to TSiBA Education Eden soon.