Bridging the gap meeting to increase education retention

October is the month of final examination preparatory. In efforts to encourage the learners to be motivated to study and perform at their highest potential during their final exam, Women Leaders South Africa (WLSA) hosted their first bridging the gap meeting with Gaegolelwe Adult Centre learners. Gaegolelwe Adult Centre is a learning institution located in Atteridgeville that offers a learning platform for students who want to continue with their education. These include Post Literacy Programs: Basic Adult Education Courses for Sub levels 1-3, Academic Qualifications: General Education and Training Certificate (GETC- Abet), and National Senior Certificate.
Principal Kekana
The initiative aimed to support learners by engaging in the ability to perceive, use, understand, manage and handle emotions. With the support from Principal Kekana, the meeting was a success. The majority of the learners who attended the meeting were women aged 19- 55.
We started our meeting by playing a simple Knott, icebreaker game that teaches problem-solving skills, teamwork and reduces anxiety. Participants were required to remember the shape we started with before playing which was holding hands in a circle. Instructions were to move 2 steps into the circle, crossing hands to the participant standing next to them and figuring out a way to form back a circle shape without releasing the wrists. These represented unity, working together to find solutions and supporting each other.
Mikhenzo Ngobeni facilitator from Activate Change Drive engaged with the learners about awareness of emotional intelligence that if one has the ability to understand self-awareness it helps to control stress, to perform successful change management, to take control of conflicts, and improve communication and collaboration.
We wrapped up the session by engaging in an anonymous note, where the learners were required to secretly write their needs and challenges on a piece of paper, and place it in the jar after the meeting. We wanted to give each participant a chance to vent out without feeling ashamed and judged by others. In addition, we will use the notes as a guide to strategies the implementation plan for 2022 to initiate support, increase education retention and reduce risks behaviours.
We distributed sanitary pads and sanitizers to the learners, which were donated by MIET/Childline South Africa. We would like to thank Childline South Africa for the kind donation of sanitary pads and sanitizers.