Many organisations focus on offering university opportunities to high school pupils that show a high potential for academic achievement.
The scholarships, bursaries and after school programmes tend to target pupils who are able to achieve marks at a certain level, despite the challenges in our education system.
This can often create a situation where children who are considered to be “underperforming” fall through the cracks.
Enter the University of Johannesburg's Khula Weekend School (KWS), whose approach is very different from other initiatives; finding people who are serious about working hard rather than 'top achievers'.
KWS takes in Grade 10, 11 and 12 learners who are required to only get over 30% in the entry test.
They write a mathematics entrance tests. We target the ones who are achieve between 30%-50%. We want to improve and develop the hardworking students who may not necessarily have the access to all the resources.— Dr Manki Sarah Maoela, Lecturer at the Department of Applied Chemistry, UJ
According to Dr Manki Sarah Maoela, Lecturer at the Department of Applied Chemistry, who leads one of UJ's Khula centre, there are a number of nuanced reasons why children cannot perform to their best ability.
Maoela says that the KWS centers develop critical thinking skills and challenge rote memory learning.
@RediTlhabi Great topic.It seems the middling students also fall through the cracks. Not only in maths but in multiple facets of talent.— Afrikan Optimist (@sszonke) July 22, 2015
@RediTlhabi totally inspired by Dr Maoela & Khula Weekend School, offers hope & a world of opportunity to under performing children— barbara holtmann (@bholtmann) July 22, 2015
Dr Manki Maoela from KWS tells @RediTlhabi education fails these pupils because teaching is only done in one way.Says should not be the case— Nolwazi Tusini (@NolwAzi_Tusini) July 22, 2015
For more information, visit the UJ website.
Listen to the full conversation from The Redi Thlabi Show: