Couple help restore hope to Uitenhage pupils

LESSON TIME: Former lawyer Carmen George, second from left, with a group of pupils who take extra classes at her Rosedale home
LESSON TIME: Former lawyer Carmen George, second from left, with a group of pupils who take extra classes at her Rosedale home
Image: SUPPLIED

A Uitenhage couple is gearing up to assist pupils from the 2020 matric class who performed poorly in maths, accounting, English and Afrikaans in their previous year of schooling.

With a desire to develop children outside the confines of a classroom, former lawyer Carmen George and her teaching husband, Steven, run two academic programmes from their Rosedale home.

This has seen more than 10 pupils qualify for university and at least three graduate.

The programmes run concurrently, assisting at least 20 pupils from disadvantaged areas each year.

Steven said he had started the programme with a group of grade 8 pupils in 2015 when he was a teacher at Gamble Street Secondary School.

“Though I was unable to continue with the full grade 8 group from Gamble Street, some of the pupils have been sending me their results, sharing their excitement about having made university entry,” he said.

“The main focus of the programme now is bridging the gap between primary and high school.

“There are very few quality pupils entering into high school in some of our schools, and that is where the problem lies.

“Now my wife and I work from home and assist children on a daily basis,” Steven said, adding that they have grade 7 pupils attending their extra classes.

Carmen said her passion for youth development stemmed from her late father’s love for education.

“My father was also a teacher at Gamble Street and my siblings are also in education,” she said.

“After my father passed away in December 2014 I wanted to honour his memory and help pupils perform better in school.”

Carmen said having studied law she assisted pupils with their literacy and research assignments, and she had also done an accounting course to further equip herself.

“We take in at least 25 children into our home. We do not have much space so we make the most of what we have.

“We help children from grade 9, but we mainly focus on grade 12 pupils.

“Some of the children who take our extra classes come with empty stomachs, so we also decided to offer them a meal while they are here,” she said.

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