How the Teacher Exchange Programme between Dulwich Prep (London) and Sparrow Schools (Johannesburg) is changing lives

Kagiso Magano, Richard Bernhard  (Former Chairman of the Sparrow Schools Foundation, UK), Norval Petersen.

Boarding an aeroplane, and leaving South Africa for the first time in their lives, Kagiso Magano (English Teacher) and Norval Petersen (Science Teacher), two young and enthusiastic teachers from Sparrow Schools, flew to London, England on 24th November 2016. The teachers were selected to take part in the first Teacher Exchange Programme between Dulwich Prep (London) and Sparrow Schools (Johannesburg), as part of a teacher development and relationship building project between the two schools.

Norval and Kagiso spent two weeks at Dulwich Prep London, learning about the different teaching methods and resources at the school. It was also a great opportunity for the teachers to meet the UK Foundation Trustees and supporters based in and around London. The teachers spoke at assemblies and fundraising events to explain to donors how their money supports learners with special needs in Johannesburg. From the personal stories that the two men shared about the children they teach, the audience felt a deeper connection with Sparrow Schools, 5,500 miles away. Many pupils and teachers were shocked to hear about the lack of teaching resources at Sparrow Schools and have a renewed energy to support the school.

Dulwich Prep London have been long term supporters of Sparrow Schools and have visited the school in Melville, Johannesburg on several cricket tours over the years. Last year (October 2016), George Marsh, retired head teacher at Dulwich Prep and Founder of the Sparrow Schools Foundation, UK, visited Johannesburg for the first time since 2007 and saw how the money raised by Dulwich Prep and the UK Foundation has developed the school. The current head teacher at Dulwich Prep London, Michael Roulston, has continued the Dulwich-Sparrow relationship, with a particular interest in developing teaching methods and relations.

The teachers arrived back in Johannesburg full of enthusiasm to share their experience with the rest of the school. Two teachers from Dulwich Prep will fly to Johannesburg later in the year to spend time at Sparrow Schools to continue sharing teaching methods and developing relations between the two schools.

‘It was truly an amazing opportunity for us to learn, grow and exchange best teaching practices. The life long experience gained will never be forgotten.’ (Kagiso Magano)

‘It was an extraordinary experience for a South African educator to witness the advancement in teaching and learning practices at Dulwich Prep London.’ (Norval Petersen)

Thank you Michael Roulston for hosting Norval and Kagiso during their stay in London and Dulwich Prep London for sponsoring the two teachers flights in order to make this incredible opportunity a reality. We would also like to thank Dulwich for their ongoing support for Sparrow and we look forward to welcoming the teachers from Dulwich Prep soon.

 

702 radio helps Sparrow FET College to recruit 79 disabled learners during Disability Rights Awareness Month

At the end of last year, a software company SAP approached Sparrow FET College Operations Manager, Melanie Malema and offered to fund 32 learnerships for disabled people. The request to fund disabled learners came through during the Disability Rights Awareness Month. Every year, South Africa celebrates National Disability Rights Awareness Month between 3rd November and 3rd December to promote equality and empowerment to those living with disabilities. This was a fantastic opportunity to change the lives of many disabled people through free college education, skills development and work experience placements.

With only two months to recruit a large number of disabled learners for the January 2017 intake, Sparrow FET College contacted the popular talk radio station, 702, to see if they could help market the opportunity. On November 10th 2016, Melanie Malema featured on the John Robbie show and spoke about the huge recruitment drive to attract applications from disabled learners, who were interested in pursuing a career in Business Administration and End-User Computing: “This college, what it stands for and the opportunities its business model has adopted, all aim to make a meaningful difference – not only to the students but to a country that is in desperate need of a range of critical and scarce skills.”

To date, twenty-eight disabled learners have been enrolled onto the IT End-User Computing Programme and fifty one disabled learners have been enrolled onto the Business Administration Programme. All the disabled learners will gain an NQF Level 3 qualification by the end of the year. In addition, the work experience placements and the Sparrow FET Job Coaches will support the students with their transition into full time employment. Many of the students have come from disadvantaged backgrounds and traveled a great distance from Limpopo province to study at Sparrow FET College.

Thank you 702 and John Robbie for helping Sparrow FET to recruit 79 disabled learners to Sparrow FET College; it will be a life changing experience.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 35 and have passed Grade 12 (Grade 9 for Installation of Floor Coverings), you may qualify for FULLY funded learner-ship. The college provides SETA-accredited full qualification and skills programmes that are rated between NQF Levels 2 and 5.

Automotive Repair & Maintenance NQF 2

Early Childhood Development NQF 4

Installation of Floor Coverings NQF 2

Professional Cookery NQF 4

Sports Coaching NQF 4

Fluid Power Hose Assembly NQF 2/3 (Skills Program)

Contact us today:

Tel: +2711 673 4410 /19  Email: academics@sparrowschools.co.za

We are still reaching out to companies to accommodate our learners for their work experience placements. All students have stipends so there is no requirement for the company to pay a salary. For further information, contact marywebber@sparrowschools.co.za

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