South Africa suffers from high levels of unemployment among its youth. The main cause is an inefficient educational system, an inheritance left by the apartheid. Teaching was one of the few professions that Africans were allowed to hold. Many of them became teachers out of necessity, although they lacked both the aptitude required as well as true passion for this important task. Additionally, the teaching profession has become very politicized, which is why it is difficult for the Department of Public Education to adequately train its teachers or elevate the level of professional quality.
On the other hand, many children lack assistance and/or a nurturing family environment, growing up in family surroundings with little structure and low levels of education. In general, the population suffers from having an overly passive attitude, extremely dependent on government initiatives and funding. In this context, children lack motivation and fail to study sufficiently, which is why the government has established that a 30% school performance suffices for passing on to the next grade level. This project aims to prepare students to successfully finish school, offering academic support and specialized help so that each student is able to develop their capacities effectively.
The program includes 30 sessions given throughout the duration of the school year. The activity is carried out thanks to collaboration from university students. Many of them are students getting their Masters in Chemical Engineering at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Every Saturday, there is a session dedicated to the development of personal abilities, including non-cognitive ones. These sessions are oriented towards the growth of the working and intellectual skills of each student, such as comprehension and growing in personal responsibility in one’s studies.