In the welcoming school of SLM - Santa Luisa Marillac, in Chokwé, a total of 120 of the poorest children are supported by our Sponsorship programme. Of these, 107 children also receive After Class support, a tutoring programme financed by our Charity.
This educational project is run in a classroom on school grounds after the academic class schedule and has very encouraging results. An average of c.16 students a day attend the after class support classes under the supervision of mano Cristovão, a young and dedicated ALG Technician working in SLM.
Usually the activities developed in the after class study support room include reading, writing, counting, manners (how to behave at home, around others and other children, etc.) and dictation.
Cristóvão has the difficult task of making children follow the schedule while also being called to other activities – ether the ALG Technical Courses in the school or simply enjoying the playground. Sister Sidónia is responsible for Technical Courses at the school, a skills-based programme offered to children in SLM to provide them technical training beyond academic education.
It is a full schedule in SLM and the children enjoy it immensely!
On the After Classes courses, the two top students this year were:
1 - Celina Mucavele, born on the 28th of November 2005, in Manjangue, Chokwè district, Gaza province. She attends the 3rd grade in SLM. Celina used to miss a few classes and her results were not great, but after a while and with Cristóvão’s help, her commitment in the classroom and results improved significantly. Her results from the 1st to the 3rd Quarter: Portuguese: 18, 18, 15, Maths: 16, 14 15, Music: 15 13 13, P.E.: 13, 14 15, Natural Science: 14, 13 13, Visual Education: 13, 13, 14, Crafts: 13, 14, 14, Average grades: 13, 16, 14. With a very good behaviour she only missed classes six times this year!
2 - Mauro Manjate (no date of birth on school registrar). We know he was born in Manjangue, Chokwé district, Gaza province. He attends the 4th grade in SLM. According to Cristóvão, Mauro also used to miss some the after class support classes to play around, with Cristóvão checking up home to find out what was happening. After a while he’s been attending the after class support classes and has remarkable grades. From the 1stto the 3rd Quarters: Portuguese: 13, 14, 12, Maths: 12, 12, 13, Music: 14, 15, 15, P.E.: 12, 14, 14, Social Sciences: 13, 11, 13, Natural Sciences: 11, 13, 13, Visual Education: 14, 16, 13, Crafts: 12, 15, 13, Average Grades: 13, 14, 13. He’s been very well behaved and only missed classes five times.
According to a second survey carried out by our Local Technicians Orcídio and Cristóvão on the 107 students attending the support room:
· 90 students improved their behaviour,
· 17 maintained or even reduced their grades.
There are a few students who skip some classes due to several reasons (the majority as they are required by the families to attend to their domestic chores in the pastures, to go fishing or because is very high they have to look after elder relatives (Alfa and Flora). Others sometimes just play around but we must also consider these are highly vulnerable children where school drop-out risk is severe and children benefit from a happy and nourishing environment at school.
The positive conclusion is that children are indeed learning. It is important to find mechanisms to avoid children skipping or even dropping out of school in these rural impoverished settings. We are hoping the ALG After Class support accomplishes just that!