22 October 2021
Matric learners at a significantly disadvantaged and under-resourced high school in KwaZulu-Natal's rural deep south have benefited from a R23 500 cash injection by a Durban-based financial institution. The funding is designed to facilitate extra tuition to compensate for lost learning time as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the lead-up to their final examinations.
Al Baraka Bank adopted Sinevuso Secondary School, outside Ixopo, back in 2014 as part of its Legacy Corporate Social Responsibility Project to celebrate the company's 25th anniversary.
Commenting on extra tuition sponsorship, the bank's Sustainability and Social Responsibility Officer, Ms Fathima Mohamed, said: "Matric learners already severely compromised attending the under-resourced Sinevuso Secondary School have lost a considerable amount of time this year as a result of the pandemic and deserve the opportunity to benefit from a comprehensive catch-up programme ahead of their important year-end finals."
The bank's assistance programme kicked into gear in August, enabling learners to attend additional classes, better preparing them for their examinations. In addition, the sponsorship covers the provision of extra-special tuition in four subjects in which learners are experiencing particular challenges.
"We have also sought the assistance of the NGO, Ask Smarty, to assist by providing learners at the school with past papers and additional tutorial inputs on topics they are finding particularly hard to cope with," said Ms Mohamed.
She added that Ask Smarty would further assist learners with University applications, via the CAO platform, while Al Baraka Bank is set to sponsor the R250 application fees for 15 learners, through a further contribution of R3 750.
A retired school Principal, Mr Farouk Bayat, who was contracted by the bank to assist the school's educational development, was also on hand to share his expertise and experience in alleviating some of the challenges the school faces.
"Every child in South Africa has the right to a proper education. However, the playing fields are not, unfortunately, level and many schools in depressed and disadvantaged areas are severely under-resourced, a fact which impacts negatively on teaching and learning. This situation has been further affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and. The impact it has had on education has been most severe and hard-felt by already disadvantaged learners. Our goal is, therefore, to afford historically disadvantaged matric learners at Sinevuso Secondary School every opportunity of success in their final school year, enabling them to go on to tertiary education and an improved quality of life, so becoming effective contributors to our economy in the future," said Ms Mohamed.
In addition to its financial support for extra lessons, the bank is to provide each matric learner at the school with a comprehensive stationery hamper, enabling them to be fully prepared for all the requirements of their examinations.
"We are also set to deliver a Consumer Finance Education presentation to school-leavers here, teaching them basic financial lessons regarding such issues as savings and budgeting, as a means of going some way towards preparing them for the post-school financial rigours they will face," Ms Mohamed added.