By Malikhanye Mankayi
The Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s Grahamstown Circuit 201 has launched an after-school programme to provide tutoring and mentoring to Makhanda’s Grade Eight to 10 learners, in isiXhosa, English, Maths Literacy and Pure Mathematics.
The programme will run at Magqunukhwebu Society in B Street, St John`s Society in Tantyi, and Joseph Bam in Extension Seven from 3pm – 5pm, Monday to Friday.
At the launch, tutor Athenkosi Nkewana broke the ice by asking the learners what they wanted to be. Most said doctor, police officer, soldier, teacher or social worker.
“This initiative is one of the pillars in the church, the Economic Development pillar, and through this pillar comes education. That is why we are involved,” said co-ordinator Notembiso Seyisi.
Seyisi added that the programme was a pilot project to see if learners are interested in after-school tutoring.
“We are trying to be involved as a church to assist academically, so that we see the pass rate of Makhanda going up. The reason we are focusing on Grades Eight to 10 is that most of the focus in schools is on Grade 12. So, we want to set up full support in earlier grades so that when the learners enter Grade 12, they have covered a lot of the work,” said Seyisi. She added that the programme would likely add more subjects as time went by.
Dinkeng Makeba, a Methodist in mission unity and the evangelism and church group, said learners who are progressed to Grade 12 without studying hard in the earlier grades often become overwhelmed in Matric and get low marks. She encouraged the learners to attend the classes, saying the programme would give them “confidence when they go to the exam room”.
Anesipho James, a Business Management graduate of Makhanda’s Midlands TVET College, who now tutors on the after-school programme, said he hoped to help the learners “get high flying colours so that they get bursaries and go to universities like Rhodes University”. James anticipates that he would also grow as a person through his interaction with the young minds.
Linathi Nodlwanana, a learner at Khutliso Daniels Secondary School, said “I joined this programme because I saw it offered Pure Maths, which I am struggling with. This programme will help me to uplift my marks. My wish is to be in the top five and I am definitely confident that I will get to that position”, she said.
Niyole Ngqoyiya, a Ntsika Secondary School learner, also joined the programme to benefit from Maths tutoring. “My struggle is mostly in Maths. I think this programme will help me to improve my marks and since there is also mentoring, it will also help me with my home circumstances and in guiding my career choices,” said Ngqoyiya.
Ntsika Secondary learner, Anolutho Daba, said that the programme would help on many levels. “I am so happy to be part of this, because all of my struggles will be solved as I will have full support. Today, I have even seen that we have great tutors who we can easily engage with. They are nice people to work with,” said Daba.
Seyisi closed the launch by motivating the learners present to continue coming to the classes and to motivate other learners to come and join the program.