R135m for ‘second chance’ at matric

20 October 2009

South Africa’s National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has set aside R135-million to give learners who failed matric in 2008 a second chance at a better future.

The “Second Chance Project” will give learners who failed three subjects or less an opportunity to gain remedial learning through class room-based tuition.

The agency, through funding from the private sector, will foot the bill for tuition fees.

Remedial learning, tuition

The initiative, a partnership between the NYDA, the Department of Education and the Matthew Goniwe School of Leadership and Governance, will be implemented in conjunction with the national and provincial education departments.

Launching the project in Johannesburg this week, NYDA chairperson Andile Lungisa said the class of 2008 would be used as a pilot, with the programme expected to be rolled out every year.

The department estimates that as many as 200 000 learners failed their matric in 2008, while thousands more dropped out of Grade 10 and Grade 11. Most of these youngsters are left unemployable due the fact that they are unskilled.

Professional teachers

Lungisa said the first part of the project would target 30 000 learners, who would attend classes at 58 sites that had been set up across the country. Fifty percent of these learners would come from rural areas.

“The project will help these learners achieve the National Senior Certificate in order to prepare them for admission to institutions of higher learning and also avoid adding to the number of unemployed young people,” Lungisa said.

He said the agency and its partners had already identified professional teachers to be used for the programme.

“In addition to assisting learners to pass the subjects they have failed, the project will incorporate a skills development, language improvement and study skills programme in order to prepare participants for the world of work, or higher education for those who aspire to enrol at universities or colleges.”

National call centre

Lungisa said a national call centre would also be set up to help learners with the options available to them should they fail their Grade 12.

The NYDA, the result of a merger between the National Youth Commission and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund, and was officially inaugurated in June.

Source: BuaNews