While after-school educational and enrichment programmes are widespread, curriculum, pedagogy and quality of delivery are often poor or inconsistent. Thanda's After-school Programme aims to develop motivated, life-long learners with the confidence, knowledge and skills to improve both their own lives and their communities. The program serves over 580 children in Grades R-11 at six schools in a rural community of KwaZulu-Natal - a community which faces myriad problems including high rates of HIV/AIDS, poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition, and unemployment. The programme's model uses existing resources cost-effectively: sessions take place in empty classrooms at local schools, and members from the community are hired and trained to become Educational Facilitators. Facilitator training places heavy emphasis on child psychology, history and global issues, while creating space for facilitators to go through the same learning processes they aim to spark in children – delving deeply into stories, history, and art in order to ask critical questions about the world.
Thanda's After-school Programme applies an innovative approach to engaging both children in the learning process. Lessons are developed around available resources, rather than waiting for packaged solutions, and can be easily adapted to different age groups. Creativity and skills are prized above knowledge and right answers, and children are encouraged to have fun and take risks. Most curriculum units use a central artifact – such as a story, news article or work of art – to tackle a number of different learning areas. Racism, xenophobia and homophobia are discussed in sensitive and age-appropriate ways, using stories from other countries and communities as entry points that allow children to explore these issues in their own lives.
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CEI approaches in actionStudent supportTutoringTransitional supportExtra-curricular activitiesSchool supportLearning through PlayLocal language/Mother tongue languageCulture/indigenous knowledge21st century skills (soft skills)
Model details2008Not-for-profitComprehensive curriculumMath/numeracyLiteracyLocal language/Mother tongue languageCulture/indigenous knowledge21st century skills (soft skills)ActiveLong-term projectFree service or product01,876
BeneficiariesOrphans and vulnerable children
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
At the individual level, facilitators conduct baselines (developed in-house) using an activity (a worksheet, game, or project) within each age group at the beginning of every school year. The same activity is administered at the end of each school year and the change in each child's ability to complete the activity successfully is measured. Thanda measures changes in literacy, library skills, science, creative arts, health & nutrition, and environmental consciousness. They also use a method of teacher-observed evaluation to compare changes in self-esteem over the course of the year (specifically in attachment, trust, and trauma). Since local schools have some of the same educational objectives, Thanda uses specific indicators that are unique to Thanda's programmes and curriculum.
At the systems level, they use a register to monitor all training offered to other schools and organizations, whether it is a formal workshop or an informal visit.
At the social level, the library team tracks lending rates and library use so that we can measure the effectiveness of this resource. Thanda also tracks the number of holiday and weekend programs offered at our Community Centre, as well as attendance at both.Internal assessment performanceTeacher attendanceStudent attendanceAnnuallyDownloadNoDownloadYes
In 2015, learners in our After-school Education Programs displayed the following average improvements over baseline level testing:
- o 117% improvement in literacy skills
- o 131% improvement in science skills
- o 119% improvement in numeracy skills
- o 67% improvement in empathetic behaviour
- o 76% improvement in critical thinking skills
- o 32% improvement in self-esteem
The Umtwalume community faces myriad problems including high rates of HIV/AIDS, poverty, food insecurity, and unemployment. According to the 2001 Census, the local municipality faces an unemployment rate of 70%. A survey conducted at one local school indicated that over 60% of the community receives a monthly income of less than R500 ($50 USD). The majority of the population can be considered illiterate with only 28% of the population having completed primary education and 32% with no formal schooling. Only 3% of the population has attained tertiary education, while 23% hold a secondary education qualification and 0.3% of the population have secondary schooling (Stats SA 2011).
Although we do not have quantitive data on this metric, qualitative responses are accessible on our website through the following link: www.thanda.org/stories/ .
Historically, Thanda has not measured this metric among their learners because the After-school Programs are not offered to Grade 12 learners. This was a decision made largely in part by local schools who believe that at this grade level, learners must instead focus entirely on completing matriculation. Moving forward, however, they will begin to track this metric to compare matriculation rates with Thanda learners versus non-Thanda learners.
2013: 368 children enrolled
2014: 451 children enrolled
2015: 464 children enrolled
2016: 593 children enrolled
Lunch is provided to learners in our After-school programmes every school day. In 2015, they served a total of 51,239 meals.