Creative Consulting & Development Works’ evaluation team recently spent two weeks in the valley and hills of KwaZulu-Natal conducting fieldwork for a 3-year long evaluation on a South African school-based programme.
The first two days of fieldwork were spent at a learner camp hosted by the Zenex Foundation and held on the tropical coast of KwaZulu-Natal. This area is lush and green with banana trees and sandy beaches. Learners were based at Anerley, south west of Durban, surrounded by open panoramas that led to beautiful sunsets at the end of each day. These Grade 12 learners are sponsored by the Zenex Foundation to attend good quality schools across KwaZulu-Natal where they are encouraged and supported to pursue Pure Math and Physical Science up to matric level. This is the annual Zenex learner camp and the learners’ third trip of this nature with the Zenex Foundation.
The camp kicked into top gear when the Grade 12 learners were provided with intensive quality tuition in three of South Africa’s most challenging subjects, Pure Math, Physical Science and English Home Language. Teachers at the camp enjoyed seeing how Science “encouraged the young people to be able to create and build things rather than consuming things.”
The Creative Consulting & Development Works team was delighted to see the learners enjoying a fun-filled one and a half days outdoors, where they had the opportunity to participate in various team building and personal growth activities such as archery, live drama performances and a late-night bonfire, to name but a few. It was a highlight to see students from different schools becoming such great friends during these activities.
The camp ended on an emotional high where the Grade 12 learners were serenaded by one of their long-term mentors and goodbyes were shared among learners that developed life-long bonds. A teacher from Ogwini Comprehensive Technical High School, in Umlazi was very touched to see a lot of the learners in tears when it came time to say goodbye.
The learners showed that they are committed to learning every day and left the camp highly motivated to succeed in their upcoming matric exams and ready to take on life after high school!
With so many negative stories in the news about South Africa’s education system, it was a breath of fresh air for the team to see how much is being invested by the Zenex Foundation financially, emotionally and socially into basic education.
Students like these being inspired to engage with their subjects and think critically about their work is exactly what our country needs.
What are some of your feel-good stories you’ve experienced in the field as an evaluator? Or as an educator or parent, how are you seeing our young South African learners developing and learning? We can all contribute to improving education in South Africa and one way to do that is by sharing and learning from success stories. So add your story in the comments below – we look forward to hearing from our readers.
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