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Curro’s Innovative Boot Camp Prepares Learners for High School Excellence

by Tia

The transition from primary school to high school is an important time, often setting the tone for a learner’s high school experience and subsequent entry into the workforce. Learners encounter new academic challenges in a more structured learning environment, navigate social changes, and experience intense emotional growth as they discover their passions, develop their independence, and chart their future paths. As learners enter this phase, mental and emotional preparation in a nurturing and encouraging environment is key. Curro Academy Protea Glen in Soweto recently hosted a boot camp that provided a safe space to facilitate this transition and for learners to explore, foster confidence and expand their knowledge in key areas.

The boot camp took place during the winter school holidays and forms part of a broader scholarship programme to make quality education more accessible to learners from the Protea Glen community. The programme invited learners to apply for a fully-funded high school scholarship beginning in 2025. It was a tough task to narrow down the 150 applications to 31 learners who were then invited to participate in the boot camp in preparation for their final application exam and to bring them up to speed to enter high school with confidence. This marks the final stage of the programme, where 10 of the most promising learners will be selected for the scholarship. This opportunity has enabled public school learners to grasp the expectations for high school life, especially at Curro Academy Protea Glen High School, should they be selected for the scholarship.

South African learners face a myriad of challenges in accessing quality education, such as limited facilities and social pressures. The boot camp provided a valuable opportunity for learners to grow both personally and academically and build resilience to face these challenges. This experience set the tone for what learners can expect from a high school experience, ensuring that they continue on their outstanding trajectory as they enter high school. Introductory classes in Coding and Robotics, English, Maths, and Life Skills laid a strong foundation for essential skills development, showcasing the limitless potential that quality education can unlock. For several learners, the boot camp marked their first experience with using a laptop. As our dependence on digital technology continues to grow, proficiency in this skill is crucial for success in secondary education and beyond

Learners embraced the opportunity to learn and grow in these areas, acknowledging how the boot camp has built their resilience and contributed toward their personal development. “I would love to thank Curro Academy Protea Glen for giving me this opportunity and letting me embrace who I am,” says Zamantungwa Ayanda Nkgasho, a learner from Glenridge Primary School. “It was my first experience at the school and I couldn’t believe the service we received and how everyone made us feel at home.”

Thandolwethu Buthelezi from Protea Glen Primary School said: “Having this opportunity to showcase my academic performance was exceptional. Being a part of this journey didn’t only teach us academic skills but it also taught us how to work hard and take pride in our work.”

“Access to quality education for the broader community is foundational to our mission,” says Johannes Mahlatsi, Executive Head of Curro Academy Protea Glen. “We’re proud to be able to make a meaningful impact through this carefully crafted scholarship programme by helping these talented young learners grow their confidence so that they can go on to do great things after school. We hope that they found the experience enriching and transformative”. This scholarship programme is made possible through the Ruta Sechaba Foundation. Partnerships like these reinforce our  commitment to academic excellence and nurturing potential.”

The 10 recipients of the scholarship are expected to be announced in September 2024.

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