The Langa enrichment programme : a study of students' perceptions of the performance of the programme, undertaken to improve its functioning

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This study focuses on the Langa Enrichment Programme an educational support programme for black students studying under the Department of Education and Training in the Cape Peninsula. The study aimed to determine students' reasons for attending the programme, their perceptions of its strengths and weaknesses and their recommendations for improvements. Student expectations of the programme and reasons for the high dropout rate especially amongst Standard Nine and female students were explored. To contextualise the study and to give further insights into student views a brief summary of the apartheid education crisis is given. Educational support programmes are reviewed as is liberalism's response to the crisis in education and the history and culture of the South African Institute of Race Relations. The methodology used was two-fold: self-administered questionnaires to 126 Standard 10 Mathematics students and a series of focus group interviews with small groups of students. The findings may be summed up as follows. Students were generally positive towards the teachers, teaching methods and administration of the programme. They requested that teachers should teach and complete the syllabus, emphasizing exam questions, revision and scientific experiments, and explore alternative small group teaching with critical discussions. Students also requested a comprehensive career guidance programme, bursary information and increased financial assistance. Students expressed a reluctance to pay fees and this, coupled with increasing requests for financial and educational supp01t, raises the issue of welfarism on the programme. Reasons for the high dropout rate amongst Standard Nines included that they write an internal examination. Social pressures from boyfriends and peer groups and regarding clothes were given as reasons for female students dropping out of the programme. The students appear to determine the direction of the school in that as a result of their demands the programme has changed from an enrichment programme to a compensatory one. Recommendations in the concluding chapter of this study are that the Enrichment Programme should draw up clearer policy guidelines in conjunction with staff and students; liaison with DET secondary schools, tertiary institutions and other enrichment programmes should be improved; career guidance programmes linked to bursary information should be implemented; bursaries and other incentives should be linked to attendance and academic performance on the programme; a full time co-ordinator should be employed.

Bibliography: p. 104-111.