IkamvaYouth, a good news story about Education in the Western Cape

Atlantis-based matric class of 2018 excel with City-funded tutoring programme. More than half of the 2018 cohort of Atlantis-based IkamvaYouth Programme students have successfully obtained a Bachelor or Diploma pass, qualifying them as eligible candidates for tertiary education.

IkamvaYouth has paved the way for opportunities for these students by improving their results which has in turn increased their admission rates into tertiary institutions across the country, and unlocked funding and bursaries for the students.

The IkamvaYouth Tutoring Programme is a game-changing initiative shaking up the education sector by better preparing pupils for post-school employment and training opportunities through subject-specific tutoring and academic support whilst in high school. These students in return have a greater advantage in securing work opportunities especially within the Atlantis Greentech Special Economic Zone (SEZ) recently launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa with the Western Cape Provincial Government, the dti, City of Cape Town, WESGRO and GreenCape on 6 December 2018.

The Atlantis Greentech SEZ was launched as a green technology manufacturing hub as part of the Western Cape Green Economy Strategic Framework. The Atlantis Greentech SEZ is set to attract R1.8bn worth of investment by 2022 and will create 24 000 full time employment opportunities over its 20-year green investment destination lifespan. Through the Atlantis SEZ, community members have the opportunity to work and develop green economy skills.

Community upliftment and involvement in the Atlantis SEZ has been highlighted as a key priority by the operating entities. To this end, the Atlantis SEZ Community Stakeholder Network was developed in November 2018 to act as a communication and engagement channel for community members and operating entities. The Community Stakeholder Network elections are currently underway and will be accepting member nominations until 30 January 2019 through GreenCape.

IkamvaYouth implemented its programme in Atlantis during July 2016 with funding support by the City of Cape Town and implementation through GreenCape. To date, learners from Proteus Technical High School, Robinvale High School, and Atlantis Secondary School have been enrolled into the programme. These students received tutoring support sessions three times a week with access to working professionals who mentor and tutor the students on a part-time volunteer basis.

Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato was proud of the Atlantis IkamvaYouth class of 2018 and pleased with their results. Mayor Plato, said, “It is clear that where we have students who are eager to excel and they are linked up with the appropriate support structures that there is no limit to what they can achieve. I am very proud of the successes achieved by the matriculants and I know they are going to make a success of themselves. The recent launch of the Atlantis SEZ will see major economic development take place with a range of job opportunities being made available. Local businesses must look to where they can support the local community who are eager to work and develop themselves.”

The Western Cape Minister for Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schäfer, congratulated the students on their results and was pleased with the impact of IkamvaYouth “The Atlantis IkamvaYouth students have produced phenomenal results which the Province is very proud to announce. From its inception, the IkamvaYouth Programme has encouraged learners to strive for academic excellence and obtain high calibre results. Two years later, it is incredible to see the immediate impact that a dedicated team of professional tutors can have on high school pupils who would otherwise not have access to such support. The youth of this country have so much potential, and we will continue to support the youth of Atlantis as part our commitment to upliftment in education”.

The Atlantis students have huge aspirations for their future and credit their results not only on their efforts, but also on the value that IkamvaYouth has provided them as a hands-on tutoring programme.

IkamvaYouth alumni Shanique Dempers and Jay-Lynn Fortuin were successfully admitted to pursue their studies at CPUT.

“I had such a great journey with IkamvaYouth”, says Dempers. “I have seen an improvement in my marks since joining Ikamva. My tutors helped me get into a tertiary institution and also helped me to apply for bursaries. In the near future, I want to come back and give to my community”.

Fortuin added: “I feel proud to be part of such a programme in my community and even more proud to have gotten good results that have afforded me the opportunity to study for a Bachelor of Education degree at CPUT. I would like to thank IkamvaYouth and GreenCape for the awesome opportunity they gave me.”Leeroy Maans who also passed his matric was admitted to study at multiple universities across the country.  “Initially, I was curious about the programme, but was surprised to see how much fun I could have whilst learning during my time at IkamvaYouth. Not only did I improve academically but socially, emotionally and with my overall wellbeing. I have plans to go and study a bachelor of Arts in Theology with funding secured and I am excited for my next chapter of my life”.

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