The ‘English Please’ programme

In town of Fish Hoek, close to Masiphumelele, the primary school has an enviable reputation. It achieves educational standards that would please parents anywhere. The school’s team of motivated teachers works hard to provide their learners (the most common term for ‘pupil’ in SA) with a stimulating and effective primary education. A place at Fish Hoek Primary School would be a prize for any child, but it is especially prized by the children of Masiphumelele.

There is a problem though – the school teaches in English. For Masiphumelele pupils, Xhosa (or another African language) is their first language. If children don’t have a good level of English language and literacy they struggle to keep up in Fish Hoek Primary School.

Attending an English language based school is seen as an advantage. The people of Masiphumelele know the value of good English – they tell us, frequently, that the future prospects of their children, even the most able, can be blighted by poor schooling and poor English

Most of the children come from families where there is considerable economic and social deprivation. Parents have little English themselves and little understanding, or experience, of education in a school like Fish Hoek Primary. It makes it tough for them to give their child the support they need – especially in the first few years of schooling.

This is where the ‘English Please’ programme comes in.

‘English Please’ was set up by Milli Firth and Fish Hoek Primary School over three years ago. It provides the specialised English tuition that Masiphumelele pupils need to able to make a contribution in class. The children gain confidence with the English language and get the literacy skills they need to help them learn.English Please - Class of 2012

The ‘English Please’ class of 2012 have done exceptionally well. Many of them are achieving the Grade average percentage for English Language.

Masiphumelele families do not have enough money to fund this additional tuition. Neither the State nor the school can afford to do more.

MASICORP stepped in with funds to make this programme happen – we need your support so it can continue.

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About masicorpblog

MASICORP provides funding for education, and investment in enterprise so that the people of Masiphumelele - a township near Cape Town in South Africa - can escape from poverty. Mission MASICORP has over 12 years’ experience working in the township. Our approach has been to ask the community where and how they need support and, from this, we know the residents want a hand-up not a handout. We know that they see education as the route out of poverty. We know they will work hard to achieve success – and we see their hard work every day in our education projects and programs. Education is what we do: we built a library and education resource centre where over 20 programs are available free to residents; we have an important project to help improve education in the 30+ township crèches; we have a highly successful university bursary program and we work with and in the township’s primary and high schools. Our education programs extend to business enterprise, where we train and develop budding entrepreneurs, and provide training to help people find jobs. Description In Masiphumelele most people live in shacks. Six families or more share one water tap and toilet facility. Roughly 70% have no regular work.Even for those with work, incomes are very low and many manage on less than $2/day for food. The township suffers from poverty-related health issues: more than 20 % of residents are HIV/AIDS positive and the number of tuberculosis victims has increased in recent years. Life expectancy is under 50 years. Some might say there is little hope but, fortunately, these people have plenty of spirit, dignity and determination.

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