It’s been almost 20 years since the end of Apartheid, and even though South Africa has one of the highest rates of public investment in education in the world (20% of our Gross Domestic Product), the education system is still floundering.
The 2011 Progress in International Reading Literature Study (Pirls) revealed that most grade five learners in South Africa have not yet acquired basic literacy skills. Therefore, despite the fact that the South African government has made 60% of schools no-fee schools and that 8.8 million learners receive a free school lunch every day, the students are still not getting the education that they need in order to graduate high school, and get a degree and a job. In fact, less than 50% of children who start school in South Africa write their final high school examination.
This adds up to a bleak outlook in a country where unemployment and poverty is rife. A proper education and teaching system is essential to overcome these challenges.
Challenges facing our education system
Since the end of apartheid in 1994, the number of children who attend school has risen sharply. But despite numerous initiatives the education system still produces poorly prepared high school graduates and a high number of drop-outs. By the age of 8, 80% of learners in South Africa faces a substantial learning deficit.
The challenges facing children and our education system are numerous and overwhelming. For example, the HIV/AIDS epidemic which has left a large number of orphans in the country. Similarly, resources are being distributed in a non-efficient manner and without accountability. Learners also have to face and overcome circumstances of abuse, poverty, and crime on a daily basis and without proper assistance. Teachers and principals also do not have the required knowledge for the areas in which they teach and are failing their students. Finally, many students live in rural areas or townships, and they come from families who have little or no education themselves and do not encourage their children to learn.
It all adds up to the fact that children are not being provided with a pathway out of poverty. By becoming a teaching volunteer in South Africa, you possess valuable skills that will empower these children and provide them with the tools they need to make it in life.
Volunteer for the Teaching Program at Dreams to Reality and make a difference
Dreams to Reality (DTR) offers placement for volunteers from across the world who are interested in helping the children of South Africa. DTR works closely with two communities based near Cape Town, South Africa and runs a number of programs including a Computer Literacy Program, a Childcare Program, a Surf and Sports Development Program and a Teaching Program.
As a volunteer organisation, DTR will offer you the opportunity to teach at one of the two local community public schools near Cape Town. Volunteers will be working alongside other volunteers and teachers and will offer assistance in subjects like English, Mathematics, Life Skills, Social Studies, Art and Physical Studies. You do not need to be a trained or qualified as a teacher to join this program. Both schools also have a Tutoring Centre which was built by DTR and its volunteer. Here, pupils work in a one on one or group setting with volunteers in order to address any Literacy or Numeracy problems they might have.
Click here to learn more and sign up to become a volunteer for Dreams To Reality.