Our strategy has served us well over the past 13 years. Evident is the number of graduates produced currently at university. Mentoring is the cornerstone of our education program. Contact tutoring takes the form an hour per week of relevant research for high school students. Individual curriculum based assistance is provided for students with specific needs. Close cooperation with the local primary and high schools occurs.
Parent’s involvement takes the form of specific task aimed at general educational enhancement:
- Supervision during the weekly Golden Hour session,
- Round table discussions with mentors tracking students’ performances,
- Making sure academic performances are in congruence with tertiary admission requirements,
- Ensure early correct application for admission to a tertiary institution.
Students at tertiary institutions are required to provide feedback after every exam during plenary sessions. These sessions serve as motivation to other students in the program. We will continue to drive our main fundraising event – the Botrivier Challenge which unites the town around a sporting event toward educational excellence.
These are visits to arts theatres, university campuses and life skills tours. In 2018 we have already visited the Fugard theatre to watch King Kong. During July 2018 the University of Cape Town will be visited.
What is our
The overall benefit is helping these students to a brighter future – for themselves and their families. However hidden behind this aim and being the most important achievement for us is to create a critical mass of students and their parents who has now have gained the experience of how to get into a university or any other tertiary institution.
Today this critical mass consists of the 22 graduates and their family as well as the 49 at university who mentors the new comers. Suddenly the whole narrative comes alive: “Don’t worry, we will help you, show how to apply for admission, bursaries and accommodation. We will show you all the pitfalls and we can testify- it is by all means not beyond the reach of ordinary citizens’’.
All students in our program bar 3 are first generation students i.e. no family member has study at university before. They are now being guided by their next door neighbours so to speak and the pool is expanding every year. We have now reached a situation that the mentors can stand back allowing the Botrivier community to help and propel this development exercise themselves.
It is a self-driven project rooting from deep within the community. The achievements of Botrivier have now evoked keen interest from other surrounding towns. Students from Grabouw, Caledon and Genadendal are also part of the program.
BEF has an excellent relationship with various schools in the Overberg. Many teachers from different schools are involved in BEF and regular feedback about high school and university student progress is exchanged. Students who will benefit from the BEF mentoring program are identified by the teachers. Botrivier Primary School is a key beneficiary of the Botrivier Challenge.
The plan is for the school to eventually take over as the host of the popular Botrivier Challenge with the help of BEF and the rest the community. The work of BEF is recognized by the University of Stellenbosch, CPUT, UWC and Boland College. The University of Stellenbosch is keen to accept students from our mentoring program.
Greenshoots is an internet based mathematical program based on CAPS. Grade 3-9 attend classes in the BEF classroom after school. This program develops their mathematical conceptual processing. Thirty (30) primary school learners are in the program and work on their own on 19 tablets and 11 desktop computers. With more computers – more students can be assisted. This is an opportunity for an investor in education for the poor to provide us with more computers. The progress of every student is followed via the internet.