After-school support and mentorship play a major role in the academic performance of high school learners. However a challenge exists in many low-income households where fulltime working parents have insufficient time or literacy levels to ensure their children complete their homework. A remedy to this comes in the form of local community-based educational support such as the Emagqabini Education Academy.
The Emagqabini Education Academy, based in Khayelitsha, is an after-school programme founded by a husband and wife team, to assist high school learners to improve their school grades in all subjects.
“With the support of tutors from the community, the initiative began as a homework support group for high school students from Site B Khayelitsha. The tutors are volunteers and teachers from the community who observe and discuss challenges faced by learners with completing their homework assignments. The organisation’s mission is to uplift under-resourced communities through education and skills development,” says Linda Siboto, founder of Emagqabini Education Academy.
Leading professional printers, the Paarl Media Group, has provided back-end support to assist the academy, launched in 2014, through its infancy. Support included basic start-up needs such as stationery, equipment, volunteerism and help with non-governmental organisation (NGO) registration and other business requirements.
“This is a long term project focused on creating sustainability, therefore support will be provided in the form of mentorship and guidance. The Group will be getting involved in future projects, such as the Emagqabini Education Academy Career Day, internships and job shadowing opportunities for learners in various departments, as well as printing of material when required,” says Peter Metcalfe, executive director: sales at the Paarl Media Group.
Siboto continues, “In 2015 the academy will roll out a number of new programmes under the organisation’s four strategic pillars which includes basic education, life skills, learner inspiration and community development. We are thrilled by the commitment and the desire from learners to gain knowledge.”
The Paarl Media Group is committed to making a sustainable difference in the communities in which it operates through strategic social investment focused on education, skills development, and community engagement. The principle behind the partnership is adopting an approach of giving a hand up, not a hand-out as it aims to mentor learners and help steer them towards excellence.
“This is how the Group approaches all social investment projects and we believe this sets this social investment programme apart. The idea is not to provide the type of support to NGO’s or projects that will leave them forever reliant on the Paarl Media Group or another donor, but rather to empower the NGO to operate successfully on their own,” concludes Metcalfe.