The international movement is aimed at increasing awareness of the after-school sector and its impact on improving learner outcomes particularly for vulnerable children. South Africa’s 12 million learners face huge challenges to get from Grade 1 through to Grade 12, with more than 60% dropping out of school. Behind the scenes, silent heroes assist the poorest learners with after-school learning support programmes to make sure they don’t become apart of this statistic.
Unfortunately, many educational institutions and even parents still don’t understand the role that after-school programmes play in supporting vulnerable learners and closing the education gap, which in SA is currently between 4-6 years. This means that in a lot of instances, grade 8 learners are working at a grade 4 level. Research shows that after-school programmes are influential in bridging the learning gap in lower quintile schools.
Grant-making and educational support organisation, The Learning Trust (TLT), is putting the spotlight on the sector by calling on all after-school organisations in South Africa to participate in the global campaign tomorrow, by getting creative in showcasing the work they do in their local communities.
“Participating in this movement comes at such a pivotal time, as South Africa’s most vulnerable children have suffered through tremendous learning challenges this year. Continued support for the South African NGO after-school sector is essential if we are to mitigate the impact Covid-19 has had on learning, and the #LightsOnAfterSchool campaign highlights the critical role these programmes play in providing equal access to educational as well as pyscho-social support,” says Sibongile Khumalo, Executive Director of The Learning Trust.