Bid to tackle pupil dropout rate

Province de­vel­ops strate­gies that com­bat, ed­u­cate, cre­ate aware­ness about so­cial ills af­fect­ing pupils’ per­for­mance

Afro Voice (National Edition) - - Northern Cape News | Eastern Cape News - SISANDA MADWANTSI sisan­dam@afro­tone.co.za

THE province is de­ter­mined to erad­i­cate the pupil dropout rate through de­vel­op­ing strate­gies that com­bat, ed­u­cate and cre­ate aware­ness about so­cial ills af­fect­ing pupils’ per­for­mance.

The three day con­fer­ence com­menced from Wed­nes­day to to­day, at the Nel­son Man­dela Univer­sity Port El­iz­a­beth.

The youth con­fer­ence themed Ndi Grand will pur­pose­fully re­vive and strengthen peer education pro­gramme in all schools un­der the Eastern Cape depart­ment of education.

Ade­laid Paiva, 17, who is a pupil at Khum­bulekhaya High School in Port El­iz­a­beth says this is a great ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I am not afraid to get out there and be in­formed about mat­ters that af­fect my health,” said Paiva.

Ayabonga Saul, 15, from Nomzamo Se­nior Se­condary School in Port Al­fred says this pro­gramme should not be a once off. He says young peo­ple need to be in­formed es­pe­cially on mat­ters of HIV­Aids.

“Af­ter all the in­for­ma­tion I will be re­ceiv­ing here, I plan to have my own af­ter school classes with my friends where we will be dis­cussing mat­ters that af­fect us as youth,” Saul said.

Lead­ing this con­fer­ence is the education so­cial sup­port ser­vices chief direc­torate which is tasked to ed­u­cate pupils about these so­cial ills that are an im­ped­i­ment to pupil per­for­mance.

Education so­cial ser­vices di­rec­tor Zuk­iswa Njotina says she is re­ally happy with the feed­back they are re­ceiv­ing from the pupils that at­tended the learn­ing ses­sions on Wed­nes­day.

“A young girl spoke about how she was not educated about a lot of things but now that she knows a lot more she is con­fi­dent to make the right choices about her life. A boy spoke about how he un­der­es­ti­mated the power of drugs and how it kills one’s per­for­mance.”

Key to this con­fer­ence is cre­at­ing am­bas­sadors who will help in­cul­cate pos­i­tive val­ues and be­havioural change to ad­dress risky be­hav­iour.

The depart­ment’s Themba Ko­jana says they iden­ti­fied 925 schools that were be­ing af­fected by so­cial ills which re­sulted to high drop rates at schools.

PIC­TURE: GETTY IM­AGES

IN THE MIX: Learn­ing new skills is vi­tal for South Africa’s fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

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