Week two of Makhaza Winter School has come to an end. What an amazing experience it has been for the learners. Learners and tutors have participated in numerous tutoring sessions, including workshops and excursions.
Tutoring sessions included subjects such as, Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Technology, History, Accounting, and Economics etc. Grade 8 learners indicated English and Technology as their most difficult subjects, since last week they have shown improvement with these subjects and were given numerous exercises to put what they have learned into practice. Grade 9 learners were focused on science this week and wrote an assessment test in which they performed very well. Grade 10 has been doing science and commerce subjects since the previous week. They have written Physics and Mathematics tests and have shown great improvement in these topics. Grade 11 learners have been attending Computer Literacy classes and did Chemistry in one of the science laboratories at UCT, which was a great experience for them and made them much more passionate about going to tertiary after school.
This week touched on various topics that brought in great discussions as the learners could relate to these issues. Topics like HIV, Drugs, Rape, Poverty, Motherhood were discussed with audio and visual presentations. One of the students said, “I feel lucky to be a part of this workshop. I have learnt a lot about the reasons why these issues still exist. Most of us here have been affected by such problems and now we know how to not fall in these traps.”
Trip to the Jewish Museum
Learners were taken to the Jewish Museum this week and it was truly a refreshing experience. It came as a surprise to learn that a lot of learners did not have much knowledge about the Jewish culture and their history. The group learnt about Holocaust, Judaism, formation of Israel and the life of Jewish people in the modern society, as well as how what happened many years ago in far away countries have lessons to teach us about Xenephobia and violence in our own country.
Cape Town being a coastal city makes it really important for our learners to understand the importance of our marine and world ecosystem. Learners were given information about the life that exists in the water and the importance of plants and animals that it’s a habitat too. There was a long discussion and information on sharks. Points like they are not as dangerous as people think and how they can be saved from extinction were discussed.
South African’s have been hugely affected by the problem of HIV. The only way to get rid of this problem is making youth aware of this. Learners voluntarily went through the HIV testing. They were given important points on how to avoid getting the infection, the latest discoveries and remedies that have changed the way HIV affects us today and the myths people have about HIV. The learners raised a lot of important points and they seemed satisfied by the information they received and how it will help them in future.
Mandisi Gladile, a ex learner and long term committed tutor had to say this about the winter school. “The winter school for this year I feel was uniquely incredible. It was a positive and a productive two week-program packaged for both learners and tutors to take home. I am pretty much convinced that all our ikamvanites are a step ahead than they were before in terms of understanding their school work better and also the exposure to various interesting activities that this program presented to them, and for me personally as a tutor it was once again a great honor being part of all of this.”
And finally it was disappointing to realize that the winter school has come to an end. The learner-mentor relationship that the tutors built with the learners was heart warming. At the end, we all wish that the learners benefitted from the winter school that will help them to excel in the exams.