The REISA Ubuntu Schools Project funded three social workers across eight schools in the Gamagara area in an effort to address challenges related to learning barriers.
THE REISA Ubuntu Schools Project funded three social workers across eight schools in the Gamagara area in an effort to address challenges related to learning barriers.
The project community operations officer for REISA, Veronique Isaacs, explained that the funding covers the appointment of these social workers, as part of its socio-economic development programme.
Isaacs said the Ubuntu Schools Project is instilling trust in the communities they serve, making people aware that change is possible and that they are willing to go the extra mile.
The beneficiary schools of this programme are Sishen Primary, Kathu High, Deben Primary, Gamagara High, Noord-Kaap Primary, Maikaelelo Primary, Langberg High, and Sishen Intermediate Mine School.
“Through the social workers’ extensive engagements with learners and educators, various challenges around learning barriers have been brought to light and successfully addressed,” said Isaacs.
The Ubuntu social workers work closely with the school disciplinary committee, the school-based support team, the Representative of Council of Learners (RCL) and parents to address behavioural problems.
Isaacs said individual and group therapy sessions are provided to meet the needs of pupils, and when necessary pupils are referred to relevant stakeholders for further intervention.
A beneficiary social worker for the Ubuntu Schools Project, Keotshepile Dorcas Lekhobe, said that pupils realise the importance of building a better future for themselves thanks to this programme.
“The most rewarding part of my job is watching my clients’ lives change positively, especially when they are able to rise above adversity and take control of their own lives,” said Lekhobe.
“We have seen learners reintegrated into school not because they are pleasing anyone but because they realise the importance of building a better future for themselves through our encouragement.”
Lekhobe said improved self-esteem among girl pupils is just one of the many programme successes, in addition to an increase in pupil motivation, engagement in productive activities and, most importantly, a reduction in pupil dropout rates.
“We experience many social challenges in the school environment, as many of our learners come from broken homes. However, as a result of this programme, learners, educators and parents now
have access to social networking support for personal or professional concerns.”
Gamagara High School principal Mervyn GoliathIt said it is comforting to know that if the school is unable to provide the necessary support, they can refer individuals to professionals who can assist.