COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION, LOCAL EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s Foundation Phase Reading Coaches Support Programme, is an example of how well the public and private sector can work together to benefit society.

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm has shown its commitment to helping communities through education, with a focus on foundation and early childhood development. The Programme incorporates a number of elements, namely employment opportunities, training and resources.

The Foundation Phase Reading Coaches Support Programme aims to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of primary school learners, through the introduction of Reading Coaches, into 12 beneficiary schools.  Coaches run reading sessions with groups of up to fifteen, grades 1 – 3 learners at a time, although most of these groups are smaller so that each child gets individual attention.

A large percentage of South African children do not read at the expected levels by the time they complete Grade 3. Children who cannot read for meaning find it very difficult to keep up in the later grades, and are silently excluded from further learning.  This leads to grade repetition and school dropout, and of course has profound socio-economic effects on our society.

“It is widely acknowledged that the biggest challenge to education outcomes is the lack of literacy and numeracy skills at the Foundation Phase stage, as it limits learners’ potential as they progress higher up the education chain. This needs to be addressed so that children have the right skills to take mathematics and science through to Grade 12,” explained Hlengiwe Radebe, Economic Development Manager for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.

In addition to the impact that this programme has on literacy and numeracy development, the Reading Coach Programme, which has also been implemented at Droogfontein Solar Power and De Aar Solar Power, has created ninety employment opportunities for previously unemployed youth and has been extended to include a targeted education scholarship programme.

“Fourteen of these ninety reading coaches have been awarded education-related scholarships, which will help them to achieve recognised teaching qualifications, access to better paid jobs and furthermore encourage them to remain within the field of education,” concluded Hlengiwe Radebe.

29 April 2018

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