Home > Gugulethu learners rewarded by All-Africa Academic Alliance
Gugulethu learners rewarded by All-Africa Academic Alliance
6 Mar 2020 - 20:15
The All-Africa Academic Alliance (A3) comprises academics and professionals from across the continent, namely Cameroon, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The Event Coordinator and Secretary General Dr Muki Shey, who is based at the Department of Medicine and CIDRI-Africa, explains how the organisation was conceptualised: “A3 was formed based on informal discussions by current members on the difficulties and challenges they had to overcome to attain their current professional levels.” They created the organisation as a platform that could guide learners to make better career choices. As well as to equip them with the tools to side-step some of the challenges they might face in the path of attaining their education.
A3 collaborators are involved in research, teaching and health services with Western Cape-based institutions like the University of Cape Town (UCT), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), University of the Western Cape, Stellenbosch University, Groote Schuur and Tygerberg hospitals, as well as the Medical Research Council of South Africa (SAMRC).
Collectively, the members share a desire to contribute positively in expanding the aspirations of township-based high school learners. Their method is to encourage learners to strive for academic excellence – with the understanding that education can teleport them to a future they may not have even conceived of.
On 28 January 2020, A3 hosted a Prize Giving Day at Fezeka High School, Gugulethu, Cape Town. The ceremony, which honoured top performers for the 2019 academic year, is one of the initiatives designed to stimulate academic excellence in learners. A record of 37 prizes were awarded to 23 learners spread across six subjects. They were namely; Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Social Sciences, English and Business.
A3 members and prize winners
Prizes were allocated based on the recognition of their hard work and high performances in their subjects in Grades 10 and 11. The top three learners in each subject, in each grade, received certificates of achievement, cash prizes and school uniforms or book vouchers. The total cash prize tally for this year was R7900 and consisted of 12 First Place winners, 12 Second Place winner, and 13 Third Place winners. Recognised top achievers were each awarded with book vouchers valued at R300, school uniforms valued at R700.
The ceremony was attended by Grades 10, 11 and 12 learners as well as teachers, and the parents of prize winners and A3 members including; Professor Collet Dandara at the Department of Human Genetics (UCT), Tendai Dandara, Dr Tafi Madzimbanuto and Professor Tunde Ojumo at the Department of Chemical Engineering (CPUT).
Learners were encouraged to aim higher in their respective subjects as a step towards their achieving success in their matric exams. The realities of the competition to secure a place in higher education institutions was emphasized.
Learners at the ceremony
“Seeing the joy and happiness of being recognised in the faces of learners and their parents gave me so much satisfaction,” said Shey.
Fezeka High School was established in 1966 and is the second oldest science High School for black students to be established on the Cape Flats during the Apartheid era. It boasts enrolment of pupils from several townships including Gugulethu, Langa and Khayelitsha. The School administration was full of praise for A3 after it was announced that the prize-giving ceremony was now a permanent feature on the school calendar. The school still suffers from lack of qualified teachers, with only one Mathematics teacher who is overstretched in this science-oriented school.
In addition, A3 also organises professional mentorship and career guidance sessions for high school students including job-shadowing, and support endeavours such as those by DikaKapa Everyday Hereos – who offer extra classes to learners at the high school.