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EDITION 1 • 2013

Bhabhathane means Change . . .


and the seven primary and espite its magnifiThe Franschhoek Schools secondary schools that cence, the FranTransformation Project cater for approximateschhoek Valley is not becomes Bhabhathane . . . ly 4,400 local learners, immune from the national taught by 220 educators. crisis in the South African education system; Bhabhathane is overseen by a Steering characterised by high drop-out rates, poor Committee, comprised of the principals pass rates, and extreme differences in the of the seven schools, chaired by Mr Lance quality of learning being achieved between Cyster, Principal of Wes-Eind Primary. Adand within schools. ditional members of the committee include Despite this, positive change is possible. Mr Ernest Messina, who represents the FranAs a microcosm of South African society, schhoek Valley Transformation Charter, and the Franschhoek Valley offers a contained Mr Rowan Smith. Close working relationships geographical environment that allows for have been developed with the WCED to enthe manageable implementation of new sosure that all efforts are in line with those of lutions, with the intention of potential future the department and relationships have been roll-out to other areas. With this in mind, the forged with numerous NGOs who work withFranschhoek Schools Transformation Project in education in order to identify opportuni(FSTP) was initiated more than a year ago, ties to work together and to take advantage with the objective of transforming the Valley’s of work already done. seven local schools. With the Planning Phase Bhabhathane is directed by local resident, of the project concluded, the design and imMr Alastair Wood, who is widely experienced plementation of a number of high priority iniin projects of this nature within the corpotiatives, selected by the schools themselves, is rate sector, and he is supported by Ms Jennow set to begin. nifer Court, an experienced educationalist To better capture the essence of the proin private and public sectors, particularly in ject, the acronym FSTP has been replaced development roles. A number of part-time with the more evocative, ‘Bhabhathane’ – an members of the project team bring to bear isiXhosa word for ‘butterfly’ – which draws atskills in ICT, Change Management and Comtention to the promise and delight a new apmunications and expert educationalists are proach to education will bring to all the peofrequently consulted. ple of the Valley. Bhabhathane will exWith the groundtend its focus to the 19 Any transition serious enough work for transformaEarly Childhood Develto alter your definition of self will tion in Franschhoek opment Centres (ECDs) require not just small adjustments schools complete, it within the Valley, which in your way of living and thinking is time for change care for more than 600 but a full-on metamorphosis. and Bhabhathane! pre-school children daily, Martha Beck

Impumelelo yaseklasini iyaqwalaselwa ngoku!


kuba ubukhe wayiqwalasela iDalubuhle Primary School ekuqalekeni kwenyanga edlulileyo, ubunokuqaphela umbono onik’ umdla womfundi omnye (kunye neqaqobana leetitshala) benxibe iigilasi zamehlo esikolweni. Kuyabonakala ukuba i-1 kuma-20 sinengxaki yokubona edinga ukuba kunxitywe iigilasi zamehlo ezimiselweyo, ingxaki abadibana nayo abafundi baseDalubuhle ingaphezu kokuqonda kwaye ayinyamezeleki. Ingaba aba bafundi bangaba nalo njani ithemba lokufezekisa ikamva labo xa bengakwazi uku-

bona okuphambi kwabo? Siyabulela ngenkxaso yeqaqobana labahlali baseFranschhoek, neqela leprojekthi ezinikeleyo equka abaxhasi, neeNtloko ezisixhenxe zezikolo ezixhasa iFranschhoek Valley kunye nooSihlalo be-School Governing Body, iBhabhathane imiselwe ekulungiseleleni oko. I-Dalabuhle Primary ikhethwe njengeyona projekthi iza kulawula ukuxilonga amehlo abo bonke abantwana abafikayo kwizikolo eziseNdulini rhoqo ngonyaka. Ngokomnqweno nenkxaso yogqirha wamehlo waseFranschhoek, uKevin Hill, nomncedisi wakhe, uNicky, abantwana abali-120 beGreyidi 1 baye baxilongwa amehlo esikolweni laze i-16 laba bantwana lathathwa layokuxilongwa kwii-ofisi zase Kevin’s Pinz Nez laze lagcinwa ekuhlaleni ngelixa abanye baye bafumana uhoyo oluthe vetshe kwisibhedlele sabantwana iRed Cross nakwiikliniki zeengcaphephe zamehlo. Iziphumo zezokuba namhlanje usenokubona iimbuso ezintsha ezisi-8 ezifake iigilasi zamehlo eDalubuhle Primary, zincumile kuba ziyakwazi ukubona iincwadi zazo nasebhodini okokuqala ngqa kwaye zikwazile ukukhetha iigilasi zamehlo ezihambelana nefashoni.

Globally, more than 12 million children, aged five to 15, are visually impaired because of uncorrected refractive errors, conditions that could be easily diagnosed and corrected with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. World Health Organization, Visual Impairment and Blindness Fact Sheet N°282


Early intervention sees early success Studies from around the world, including South Africa, show that good Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes make it easier for a child to learn at primary school level.


his is evident in the Franschhoek Valley too, where all the primary school Principals report that there is a noticeable difference in learner academic achievement if they have attended an ECD centre. The National Development Plan indicates that all children should receive two years of quality pre-schooling before Grade R by 2030. The Department of Basic Education medium-term strategic framework goal is that by 2014 all children should participate in Grade R. But there are a number of key concerns in this regard. Namely: quality teaching and learning in Grade R is uneven across the system and weak in many schools; not all schools in the country have a Grade R class; many Grade R classes do not have any books or toys; class sizes are generally too big and Grade R teacher salaries tend to be relatively low. The latter point means that there is a lack of sufficiently qualified people attracted to Grade R teaching posts and as a result there are large disparities between the qualifications of Grade R teachers CONTINUED OVERLEAF

Evelyn Visser is the unassuming head and owner of the Little Dolphins Crèche, off Excelsior road, towards the Le Franschhoek Hotel.


velyn started her teaching career at the local Bumble Bee Play School, where she worked as a teaching assistant before turning her attention to a full-time commitment to pre-schoolers by establishing her own crèche, a decade ago. With the help of the Lions, Le Quartier Français, Bumble Bee and others over the years, Little Dolphins has become a landmark of stability and care for many at risk youngsters.

Today Evelyn heads up the ECD Forum – which draws together the vast majority of local ECD centres – while still maintaining a hands-on presence at Little Dolphins as well as campaigning for the needs of seasonal workers in the Valley. Evelyn describes herself as someone “motivated by faith, with a deep compassion for the community” who is always ready to lend a hand. Bhabhathane salutes Evelyn Visser and those like her; our future is brighter thanks to them!

• All ECD centres are required to be registered with the Department of Social Development.

• There is no standardised curriculum for the pre-school age groups below Grade R.

• 621 children are formally enrolled in pri-

vate ECD centres in the Franschhoek Valley. • More than 300 children in the age range 0 – 3 years are not in a crèche facility.

• Roughly 200 children in each of the age

ranges 3 years turning 4 (pre-primary year 1) and 4 years turning 5 (pre-primary year 2) are not in an ECD centre.

• During the winter months (June – Au-

gust) there is a drop in attendance at many

ECD centres as stable work opportunities on the wine farms decrease.

‘n Bietjie Geskiedenis: Groendal Primêr


andat die skool vir die eerste keer betrek is op 11 Julie 1983 met ‘n leerdertal van ±650 ingeskrewe leerders, het die skool gegroei tot ±1 000 leerders. Ons beskik tans oor 26 klasse, 32 opvoeders en ses nie-doserende personeellede. Ons is baie bevoorreg om drie Graad R-klasse te hê, met 90 leerders. Die opvoeding van voorskoolseopleiding vir die aanleer van basiese perseptuele vaardighede en motoriese ontwikkeling is baie belangrik om die leerders gereed te maak vir hul Die volgend e persone he bydrae tot t ‘n formele skoolloopbaan. die vooruitg ang van ons baie groot skool gehad Die skool bars tans : uit sy nate omdat alle klaskamers ten volle benut word.

nationally. Approximately a quarter of Grade R teachers have a degree and a further one-third hold a diploma. 13% have qualifications at the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 5 (equivalent of a school leaving certificate plus one year), and 12% have a qualification at NQF Level 4 (equivalent of a school leaving certificate). 38% of Grade R teachers do not


have the equivalent of a school leaving qualification. The above is applicable to many of the private ECD centres in the Franschhoek Valley. Consequently, establishing universal enrolment in Grade R and quality pre-school programmes that address the developmental needs of children in the age group 3 – 5 years is a priority for both South Africa and the Valley.

Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today. Malcolm X

With the preparatory phase of the work of the Bhabhathane Project complete, a number of focus areas and future projects have been identified through consultation with the Steering Committee. Together with the Valley’s schools, as well as the Western Cape Education Department and numerous NGOs who work within the education sector, the Bhabhathane Project is now ready to tackle a number of initiatives as follows: • Early Childhood Development (ECD) - up skilling and standardising curricula across the Valley’s ECD Centres • Principal Development and Support coaching and mentoring principals to empower them to deal with the multiplicity of challenges they face • Parental Involvement - empowering parents and School Governing Bodies • Teacher Enrichment - teacher training, personal development and achieving the required level of time on task • Food Provision - revisiting existing approach to feeding learners • Class Size - provide assistance to teachers to cope with classes over 30 learners

• Special Needs - provision of professional support to teachers to deal with special needs learners • Education Resource Centre - establishment of ‘centres of excellence’ at which teachers can receive training and those who teach the same phase/subject can share experiences. The Centre could potentially evolve in the future into a building which contains a teachers’ library, an ICT Centre for training and support of the schools, meeting rooms and so on • Transport - provision of improved transport facilities to assist learners getting to, from and between schools and other destinations.

FRANSCHHOEK SCHOOLS TRANSFORMATION PROJECT Our valley is where green things spring alive. And sun, wind, rain enable them to thrive. The farmers and their toilers use God’s earth To bring rich crops of food and wine to birth. But richest crop of all the valley bears Is found in schools where those yet green in years Are helped by cultivators of the mind The wherewithal of fruitful lives to find. By zest and energy transformed each day May all our schools inspire, we dream and pray, Young hearts to be what they were born to be, To soar to lives of service, hope-filled, free. JOHN GARDENER • MARCH 2013

Bhabhathane is a truly momentous project for the Franschhoek Valley. The achievement of its objectives will be an enormous task and will rely on the commitment of schools’ personnel and significant financial and human resources. Over the next few weeks, fundraising efforts will be launched within our local community and more widely with this end in mind.

© Bhabhathane | Huguenot Street, Franschhoek, 7690 Jennifer Court 079 492 7455 |

Bhabhathane News Vol 1 2013