South Africa 2020 Scholars programme: supporting students post-Covid Tutor Kunle and his grade 10 students from LEAP 4 Diepsloot "This programme helped me know just how much I can learn going forward in this subject and the rest of my studies too!" - Sibusiso, LEAP 4 grade 10 AccessEd ZA 2020 programme wrap up and celebration! At AccessEd, we have been celebrating the achievements of participating pupils and PhD tutors who have completed the 2020 Scholars programme in South Africa! We're proud to support students from the participating Diepsloot and Alexandra LEAP schools in this post-Covid booster programme after a challenging year for students. AccessEd ZA increases access to higher education for students from under-served backgrounds in South Africa by offering pupils an authentic experience of university. Together with the PhD researchers who act as their tutors, pupils explore undergraduate-level topics that are based on their tutor’s own research, undertaking a unique course and in-person university-style tutorials. Students work from coursebooks that are designed and created uniquely for their tutorials! Following two successful programme cycles in 2017 and 2018, this programme ran with groups of grade 9 and grade 10 pupils. This 'booster' programme was adapted to be 4 tutorials long and a new hybrid model of in-person and digital learning, aimed at catering to the needs of schools in the current climate. Grade 10 students debating their tutorial subject at LEAP 4 Diepsloot Pupils attended in-person classes with their tutor, followed by digital engagement week-on-week to debate their tutorial topics, ask challenging questions, and submit homework assignments! Grade 10 students from LEAP 3 Alexandra “I am now motivated to work harder in order to pursue my future goals” – Isobel, LEAP 3 grade 10 2020 Snapshot 50 pupils taking part in the AccessEd ZA Programme 4 schools taking part across Johannesburg 4 PhD students trained as tutors Thanks to our partnership with schools and colleges we have reached over 280 students and 9 schools in South Africa in the past three years. Grade 9 students from LEAP 4 Diepsloot "I now feel more ready to face up to future challenges that I will face!" - Naledi, LEAP 4 grade 9 Bridging the gap: access to higher education in South Africa Why does this programme exist? In South Africa today there is an entrenched link between household income and educational success 12 in 100 all students in South Africa access university More students attend university from the richest 10% of the income distribution than the poorest 80% of income distribution The Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa has further exposed inequalities in the country’s education and progression to higher education (LSE, May 2020) Post-Covid support Students globally are struggling with the impact of Covid-19 and the effect on their education. AccessEd's pre-programme surveying of students before taking part in the programme showed that many students felt as though they have "missed out" and there is "a gap to fill" with their education overall. But that's not all. Johannesburg township residents cite the extreme hardships faced by the lockdown in supporting their families amid the pandemic. More than ever, it's critical to support local students. AccessEd is proud to run the programme in the townships of Diepsloot and Alexandra in 2020, supporting students in their studies and in raising aspirations and motivations towards higher education. Tutor Kunle and his grade 10 students from LEAP 4 Diepsloot celebrating programme graduation! For more details on programme impact, watch out for our AccessEd ZA impact report coming in January 2021! What to know more about the programme or are interested in hearing about our work and partnerships in South Africa in 2021? Email [email protected] for more information.