Integrating many new learners from our partner organisation Inkululeko into our core group project, awarenet started hosting sessions on a daily basis in the beginning of 2019. These groups, whose participants attended the grades 8-10 this year, consisted of learners from the local high schools Ntsika Secondary, Nombulelo and Khutliso Daniels. The main focus of these sessions is learning to utilize ICT resources for educational purposes, as well as providing general academic support for the learners.
Thanks to our cooperation with Rhodes University Community Engagement we were also able to conduct the sessions in multiple locations, enabling us to either use the Social Innovation Hub at the Rhodes campus or the Learning Lab at the Joza Youth Hub. This variation was highly appreciated by the learners, who highlighted the fast internet, the additional space and quiet atmosphere as great benefits of the Social Innovation Hub.
When asked to give their opinion about the year in general the learners described it as challenging on the one hand, since they had not known many of the other core group attendants previous to the project and some who initially enrolled left it again after a few months, but also as a very rewarding experience, pointing out the fun they had with us and how the sessions helped them to utilize digital resources for their education effectively. Many also emphasized how much knowledge about software engineering they had gained during our time. Other greatly appreciated activities were the creation of an own blog, that could be shared with friends and family, as well as the production of an afternoon TV show.
All in all the learners were very satisfied with their year as part of awarenet and we look forward to continue supporting them throughout their academic careers. We are currently in the process of establishing yet another core group in 2020 and hope to achieve the same success as this year.