R135mil project to assist young people

Monday, October 19, 2009

Johannesburg - The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) is to raise about R135 million to assist learners who failed to acquire their matric certificate in 2008.

Dubbed 'Second Chance Project' the initiative is a culmination of a partnership between the NYDA, the Education Department and Matthew Goniwe School of Leadership and Governance.

The intervention programme will allow learners, who failed three subjects or less, an opportunity to gain remedial learning through class room-based tuition. This will be implemented in conjunction with the national and provincial education departments.

The agency, through funding from private sector, will fork out the money for expenses on tuition fees.

Launching the project on Monday, NYDA chairperson Andile Lungisa said the class of 2008 will be used as a pilot and the programme is expected to be rolled out every year to assist the affected learners.

The department estimated that in 2008, as many as 200 000 learners failed their matric while thousands more dropped out of Grade 10 and Grade 11. Most of these young people were unemployable due the fact that they were unskilled.

Lungisa said the first part of the project will target 30 000 learners who will attend classes in 58 sites that have been set up in all of the nine provinces. 50 percent of the learners will come from rural areas.

"The project will help these learners achieve the National Senior Certificate in order to prepare them for admission in institutions of higher learning and also avoid adding to the number of unemployed young people," explained Lungisa.

He said the agency and its partners have already identified professional teachers to be used for the program.

"In addition to assisting learners to pass the subjects they have failed, the project will incorporate a skills development, language improvement and study skills programme in order to prepare participants for the world of work or higher education for those who aspire to enroll at universities or colleges," added Lungisa.

He further said a national call centre will be set up to assist learners with options available to them should they fail their Grade 12.

"We anticipate learners who come from either supportive or non-supportive families, it is therefore our duty to enhance these learner's life skills as we would like to address their challenges".

The NYDA was formed as a result of the merger between the National Youth Commission and Umsobomvu Youth Fund. It was official inaugurated in June following an amendment to a relevant legislation.