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.
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.