Giving back to the community is one of the most important values that pupils and staff uphold at Merrifield College and the Sakhikamva/Merriefield Education Support Programme is a perfect manifestation of this.
The programme is aimed at assisting pupils from Floradale Farm School and Sakhikamva High School with extra lessons in various subjects, computer literacy, as well as extra-curricular activities such as swimming, netball and a marimba band, that they do not have access to due to lack of resources.
Launched last year, the programme focuses on providing academic support for grades 8, 10, and 12 in maths, maths lit, sciences and geography. They also have computer specialists on hand to assist with computer literacy.
The programme usually takes place at the end of a full school day and the children are given a light lunch to keep their energy levels up.
Thina Maqubela is the co-ordinator of the programme and also one of the tutors, and she says the programme has been successful in the past, and will continue to benefit the pupils beyond their high school career.
“We teach the pupils holistically. assist them through literacy and comprehension. The programme has helped the schools improve their results as well as the pupils’ individual performances.
“We have also partnered with organisations and assisted the pupils with applying for university and leadership after matric,” Maqubela said.
The deputy principal of Sakhikamva high school also believes that the programme is making a difference in the children’s academic lives.
“This programme has been very beneficial. It has improved the morale of the pupils. They have become more eager to work and have shown more interest in what they do.
“It is very helpful and we are very grateful to Merrifield because we are able to make a difference with their help,” Madolo said.
Siyanda Ncindi is one of the grade 12 pupils who participated in the programme last year and is now a student at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
“They helped me a lot. I got good marks because of that programme. They helped me, especially in the majority of subjects. It really was a great programme,” Ncindi said.
Someleze Dondolo is a 2022 matriculant from Sakhikamva who benefited from the programme.
“The Merrifield programme has helped me so much. My studies improved. It helped me in a way that if something was taught in class and I didn’t understand it , when I get to Merrifield, I would ask the teacher to please explain it to me again, and that improved my academics.
“The programme was amazing because not only did they teach, but they also helped us with university applications.
“The programme helped me so much because, in the end, I obtained a bachelor’s pass,” Dondolo said.