Silverstream Primary School Grade 7 pupils graduated from a high school readiness programme which aims to equip them to deal with the challenges this transition might present.
The life skills programme is an initiative of a non-profit organisation, Guardian Angel Educational Environmental Entrepreneurial Intrapreneurial Network (GAEIN), and is called Beyond Primary School.
A total of 38 pupils successfully completed the course, and on Thursday November 30, they received their certificates.
The pupils also had lunch. Young people who have gone through some of GAEIN’s programmes before, and who are university students now, shared their inspirational stories with the graduates.
Romario Botha, who is a first- year mechanical engineering student, reminded the pupils that education “can take you places”.
“Make use of all the educational opportunities you get. Do not abuse it. If you want to achieve, it all just depends on what you are willing to put in. Stay on the right path and do your best,” Romario said.
Granville van der Berg cautioned the pupils to choose their friends wisely.
“You have the power to change your circumstances. Invest your time in education, and remember hard work pays off big time. It’s tough out there. People laugh at my dream, but that will not deter me. We can give you the tools, but it is up to you what you are going to do with it. We want you to become future leaders,” Granville said.
Ahlume Nkohla, 13, said the programme helped her group deal with emotions, bullying, and how to profile a person.
Channel Lethu Sixubane, 12, said the programme helped her experience things she never thought she would.
“I learnt how to overcome my fears and my negative thoughts of not succeeding in life. I thought this would be a programme just for fun, but it helped me so much. I thought I will not pass Grade 7, but I even received a certificate of achievement. I am grateful that Beyond Primary School was presented at our school,” Channel said.
Liwema Tokwe, 14, now knows what to expect in high school, but will keep his focus on school and aim for university, despite what people might say of her, she said.
The organisation also hosted an end-of-year party for another of its programmes, called The Tunnel Project, which is aimed at pupils at risk from Grade 1 to Grade 5.
This is a pilot project GAEIN implemented at Saambou Primary in Manenberg. The project is designed to help children not to “fall through the cracks of the education system”, to become drop-outs or have literacy challenges.
Founder of GAEIN, Christol Moses, said: “The Tunnel Project holistically focuses on the pupils by identifying their uniqueness, talents and providing interventions to tap into their own potential. Saambou Primary School is an Afrikaans medium school and for the duration of the programme the learners were encouraged to participate in the class and do their assignments to qualify for an end-of-the-year ‘verrassing’ (surprise).The pupils were treated to a lunch, treats, face painting and a ‘feel good’ shoe box. The pupils were ‘verrassed’ when they walked through the doors of the Druiwevlei community centre, being entertained by clowns and presented with their ‘feel good’ shoe box.”