Residential Academic Enrichment Curriculum (RAEC)
- Assist learners in reinforcing the content learnt at school
- Teach learners new content not covered in school
- Instil a good work ethic of studying
- Motivate and prepare learners to navigate university
To date the Enrichment Programme has impacted 3070 learners nationally.
Venue: Wits University – Main Campus
Frequency: Annually during the June/July school break
Duration: Learners participate in a 2 week-long programme
- N.B. If you would like to be involved, but your school is not a Targeting Talent feeder school please contact Linah Sesheba at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr Zena Richards at email@example.com for more information.
What is provided?
- Accommodation in residences
- Transport to and from the pick-up point to the main campus
- Devices (online component)
What 2022 Enrichment Programme participants said about their experience
Positive academic impact
The sessions were tailored to improve learners’ motivations toward their academics and enhance their academic achievement. The majority of the learners shared similar sentiments regarding the positive impact of the RAEC sessions. Learners attributed their positive ratings based on the notion that the sessions improved their subject content knowledge and provided them with practical experience.
This was highlighted through the following responses:
- The SETMU staff was welcoming as well as the mentors. The lessons boosted my knowledge a lot.
- This session was very insightful specially in me gathering more information about different careers, learning to be even more independent and most importantly getting motivation to solely and religiously focus on schoolwork in order to get into the best universities and maybe also get a scholarship.
- Because I learned a lot while having fun and I just wish the time could be extended. Im hoping to use this knowledge to my benefit in the near future.
The sessions were customised to engage learners in social impact activities. The RAEC sessions aim to foster socially sound learning environments that proactively help learners develop greater social competence. Learners indicated that the sessions exposed them to people from different backgrounds which in turn enhanced their social skills.
- The experience was so amazing that I had nothing to complain about. The lecturers, the mentors, the food, the rooms and the staff were so amazing and were all making sure that we are taken care of even the dance and sport was marvellous and I never thought it would be this amazing.
- It was very good and fun. I made a lot of friends and the food was very good. I learnt a lot.
- It has given me a chance to interact with different kinds of people.
- I got the opportunity to experience res/university life and be prepared for it, I learnt courses that I have never heard about before which was interesting because it made me think of which route to take for varsity. I also got a chance of meeting different people. The problem was the long walks we took from campus to campus and missing home.
Personal skills development
The session was also aimed at enhancing learners’ personal skills. Learners indicated that exposure to the university environment also improved their personal skills. They explained that they were challenged to come out of their comfort zone and their character was also developed. They explained that they gained skills such as independence, time management and self-discipline.
Supporting comments are presented below.
- The mentors were great, and the lecturer and the variety of subjects we did were also very insightful and eye-opening. The sports and dance made me come out of my comfort zone and I have developed self-discipline, independence and time management.
- The experience was amazing as I got exposure to different forms. This exposure has developed my character as an individual. Learners who rated the session below average were asked elaborate on their ratings.
- Besides Math and Science, the subjects that we were introduced to were very exciting and informative and they helped us gain more academic knowledge which is not based on high school subjects. The lecturers were very patient and were more than willing to give up their time for us. I love how we grew in terms of participation in class and also emotionally and mentally.
Personal skills development
The session was also aimed at enhancing learners’ personal skills. Learners participated in different extramural activities which developed their personal skills. They indicated that exposure to the university environment also improved their personal skills.
Supporting comments are presented below.
- My TTP experience was beyond what I had imagined it to be like, it was amazing. I really enjoyed my classes, dance and lectures. I would like to relive this experience again, I met people who have had a positive influence on my life in the 10 days we spend here.
- The RAEC session has been amazing as everything was planned out for us. Our mentors have been with us every step of the way from making sure we get to class on time to keeping us entertained. The dance classes and sports were amazing as it was my first time experiencing all this since we don't have this at school. The sessions have been amazing.
- It was the first time in my life to come to Johannesburg and I also learn new things that I didn’t know.
- We got to feel what university life is like and we also learned different things.
- I got to experience university life beforehand and all classes were productive. I also got the chance to showcase my talents in singing and dance
- I got to experience what varsity life would be like. The walking from campus to campus was tiring but amazing.
- Because it was my first time coming to wits or any varsity in my life, I have gotten to see my friends that I made during the online classes and the SETMU team had everything under control and prepared for us.
- The July RAEC Sessions were excellent because they exceeded my expectation I have learned a lot during the classes like different career fields that are available to study it has broadened my way of thinking. My time management skills will definitely improve now because the TTP lecturers have given us advice on how to do that.
Winners of the Community Research Project
1st Place - Makala Secondary School
A research project was done in respect to a community partner called Makala Secondary School. The aim of doing this research was to provide the school with smart devices which would enable the learners to conduct broader research on the subjects they are learning. This research was mainly done with the main objectives being technological support and enrichment of the learners.
The research was done to identify the need in the community and to find out if there were any ways the need would be provided for to the community. When the research was conducted eighty people from the community were sampled and information was gathered from them as part of the community profile. In order to collect the information needed, a mixed method of data collection (qualitative and quantitative) was used. A questionnaire and a survey were used. A questionnaire was completed by two teachers from different classes and six learners from different grades. From the questionnaire, seven major needs were identified and were used to compile a survey which was completed by seventy-two people, eight teachers and sixty-four learners from the community. The data that was collected during the research was analysed using a tally marks table and a bar graph.
A tally marks table was used so as to acquire an accurate count of all the responses that were gotten from the survey. The tally marks table was also a good option since it provided a good sum up of the responses which were then graphically represented using a bar graph. The major need, based off of the data analysis was then determined. Research shows that the initial smart devices identified as a major need were tablets.
As the research project was progressing, the provision of tablets was changed to the provision of laptops. One of the reasons was that laptops are more advanced than tablets and would give a more realistic feel of being a researcher to the learners identified to be in need of the smart devices in the community partner. The decision to switch from tablets to laptops was taken by the project researchers and approved by the relevant officials.
In implementing the plan to fulfil the aim of the research, goals were set. Out of the three goals that were set, potential donors who are to fund the implementation plan were identified as external resources and resources within the community too were identified. Permission to use these resources was granted by the school authorities. What is currently left of the project is to completely raise the funds required to purchase the new laptops and officially present them to the school as tools identified to enrich their learning. With the fundraising process still underway, only R1000 was raised out of approximately R30 000 of funds required to finance the project. However, some of the potential donors identified are showing an interest in donating to the project but further feedback is still awaited from them. The acquisition of the required funds, the purchasing of the laptops and their presentation to the school will mark the completion of the research project.
Second place: Tiyani Secondary School
This study was carried out at Tiyani secondary school of Hlanganani Circuit in Vhembe District which currently faces a higher rate of vandalism. This study aims to ensure that the school environment is safe for learning and teaching to everyone by educating all the community members about vandalism and its impact with the help of SAPS and also repairing the damaged equipment that endangers the lives of the community members by using materials donated by different hardware.
The study is designed to help with the implementation of a safe school environment for learning and teaching and reducing the rate of vandalism by allocating vandalism monitors. Surveys, questionnaires and structured interviews were used to collect data from participants in the community and to discover more about the challenges it faces.
The group of sampled participants was made out of 106 people in which 96 were students of different grades and the other 10 was educators. The data was collected using qualitative method and it was then analysed according to what the community members said. After analysing data, it showed that most participants mentioned the unsafe school environment due to damaged equipment such as broken window glasses and cracked toilet pots as the most concerning and prevalent need in the community. The goal was to ask for donations of equipment from different hardware and raise enough money to pay for labour in order to repair the damaged equipment in our community and to make it safe for learning and teaching.
A fundraising event was held to try and raise the money needed to pay for labour. The donation was approved by the Cashbuild Hardware, and we had to prioritize in the equipment wanted since the donation had a limit of R20 000. A letter of request was written to Hlanganani police station, which is located in our village, two weeks after submitting the letter to the SAPS, the station officers came and addressed our community about vandalism and its impacts in this way the goal of educating our community members about vandalism was accomplished. Four monitors per class were selected voluntarily so, in which two were boys and the other 2 were girls, this helped in lowering the rate of vandalism in our community.
In a way of replacing damaged equipment while patiently waiting for the donated material from Cashbuild to be delivered, we asked labour donation from a nearby welding where in damaged metal doors were recycled and new doors were made. New boards were bought and a nearby plumber donated labour to make tables in replacement of the vandalized ones, by using metal parts of tables that were separated from boards due to vandalism.
An analysis of our project shows that the aim has been undertaken adequately by the plan and the goals have been achieved. The rate of vandalism in our community has decreased, number of injury cases due to vandalized equipment such as a skin cut because of a cracked window has decreased and our community members are well educated about vandalism and its impact. Tiyani secondary is now a safer environment for learning and teaching.
Third place: Dzata Secondary School
The problem that we have been researching was the lack of a library at Dzata Secondary School and its impact on the students. The overall purpose of this project is to design a library at our school where learners will be able to access different learning resources that they will need. A qualitative method was used to conduct the study among the learners of Dzata Secondary School. The sample included all students at the school, all educators and the principal who were interviewed. Additionally, convenience sampling was used to select twenty-four class prefects.
The research revealed that the lack of a library has affected the school negatively as well as the students. Students do not have access to resources, and this affects their education. The research also revealed that schools in more deprived communities are more likely to not have a library, and that pressure on space and a lack of resources means more than half of schools with libraries reported they were actually being used as classrooms or meeting spaces rather than its intended purpose.