Wednesday, 09 December 2020

Students promote Learning for Life to high school learners

LEARNING: The Learning for Life project was a success LEARNING: The Learning for Life project was a success

Students and staff members travelled to the southernmost tip of Africa to deliver an educational programme promoting life skills to high school learners.

The collaborative project between the Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Unit (SLCEU), the organisation Bossie Projects, and the Cape Agulhas Municipality was held in Bredasdorp and Arnistion and involved learners from Bredasdorp High School and Albert Myburgh Secondary School.

CPUT Student Ubuntu Ambassadors took the lead in designing workshops, in the form of reflection circles, on topics which the school principals had indicated were a challenge at their schools and in the community. Themes covered were substance abuse, bullying (including cyber bullying), gender-based violence and sexuality as well as study skills. The methodology enabled learners to engage in deep reflective and interactive dialogue which was guided by critical questions posed by the CPUT students.

Bossie Projects, which was started by six passionate individuals, partnered with CPUT with the ”purpose to specifically shift our focus on the communities on the outskirts of Cape Town, where resources are minimal, if not scarce”. Together with the SLCE Unit, Bossie Projects conceptualised how resources could be shared to deliver a quality experience to the learners. Bossie Projects provided hygiene products as well as a meal to the learners. “We are hoping that this will be one of many projects to come with the Arniston community, a beginning to a prosperous venture,” says chairperson, Debbie De Mink.

Luzeth Smith, Manager: Human Development at the Cape Agulhas Municipality, thanked CPUT for the programme. “I could see that the learners really enjoyed the sessions and it was indeed a learning for life opportunity. I am impressed with the professional manner in which our pre-engagements were conducted and the implementation of the programme was of high standard. The students who facilitated the sessions were competent and the youth related well with them. The topics were relevant and the youth participated actively during the discussions. The feedback from the youth confirmed that the learning for life programme was effective and the knowledge obtained can be applied in their daily life.”

Student Ubuntu Ambassador and project team leader, Moegamat Gabieb Hendricks, a Management and Project Management final-year student, said: “The impact that the project had on me is to always want to change the negative into a positive and always wanting to make a change in the lives of others”.

Energy Masters student in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, Muster Madavha, added that he had been bullied for years and the project had made him realise the importance of sharing what had happened and how he managed “to get to where I am academically”.

“Sharing my life experience made me realise that I am on top of my challenges, not the other way around where my challenges are on top of me.”

Jacqui Scheepers, Manager: SLCE Unit, said they aim to continue exploring future projects with the Cape Agulhas Municipality and Bossie Projects adding that “it is encouraging to see learners openly sharing with our students their daily struggles experienced at school and in their communities”.

“Thanks to the Marketing and Communication Department, we could share the CPUT prospectus and encourage learners to apply to universities. The students were excellent role models and showed learners that further study was possible, no matter what their background.”

Written by Ilse Fredericks