More than 150 grade 8 pupils from three different schools within Bushbuckridge were awarded with certificates of excellence following their participation in the English Micro-scholarship programme, hosted by Reata Services at Mathibela High School on Tuesday, the 16th of April 2019.
It was entertainment-filled afternoon as parents got an opportunity to watch their children play around with their impeccable language skills through poetry, music, dance and other activities, duly benefitted from the short course. I
In the presence of representatives from the Mathibela Tribal Authority, Department of Education, Bushbuckridge Local Municipality and the United States Embassy.
“We do English language programmes in southern Africa. Normally we promote teacher development training, and in this instance we offered this afterschool access programme for the learners, and it is also meant to supplement their current curriculum, and what’s even more exciting is that we go after 21st century skills,” Kevin McCaughey from the Regional English office of the US Embassy said.
McCaughey also said that their objective is to develop learners that would go out to do various projects such as creating their own apps, while also learning teamwork, negotiating skills, critical thinking, and not just answers to examinations.
McCaughey further emphasised the importance of learning English as a medium of instruction. He also added that there would be other programmes aimed at improving thinking skills amongst young people.
“Reata Services is a recruitment and training organisation, and our passion is more focused on people development. We offer various programmes such as technical, business, educational and after school skills programmes, which is the one that we’re hosting today,” Ricca from Reata Services said.
“Initially, the learners had to write essays motivating why they should be selected for the programme and 50 learners per school were then selected. It is less about us and more about the learners, hence, all the activities were about them, so I’m very humbled by their confidence,” she added.
One of the learners from James Khoza Secondary, Mfanelo Khumalo said; “This programme has helped me improve my writing skills and also in many learning areas. It also helps many other students to communicate better with others, so I am very grateful to Reata Services and the US Embassy for their contribution, and I hope this will also reach other learners from other schools.”