Covid-19 has left many schools without enough staff to cope with the daily demands of teaching while also covering classes for teachers who are absent due to illness. To ease the burden, Kouga Wind Farm has supported the employment of 15 temporary teachers to act as assistant teachers at seven local schools.
Garth Jacobs, the Education Department facilitator for the area, praised the contribution these sponsored teachers have made in helping schools to function. He believes the Department would not have been able to service the needs of Quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools without this assistance.
Kouga Wind Farm’s contribution has allowed third- and fourth-year student teachers to fill the temporary positions until the end of 2020. Garth adds that “it has been good for the students to see what they will face once they actually start teaching.”
Fourth-year Intermediate Phase student Maxine Lippert has taken on the task of teaching Grade 4 and 5 English at St Patrick’s Primary School in Humansdorp with passion. She says:
“It has been phenomenal and prepared me for my future in a way that university did not. I now feel so much more equipped for my career – and I am so grateful for this opportunity.”
At Sandwater Primary School, the addition of three student teachers also came as a blessing. The school recently lost their principal, which meant that one class had no teacher. Shanda van Rooyen, acting principal, says the students were “a life saver”. Launick Fortuin, a fourth-year Foundation Phase student, who took over the teaching of the Grade 1 class, says, “I loved it! It really was a great experience for me.” She will return to university next year to complete her studies.