The Phambili Initiative runs 3 projects aimed at improving the transition of high school learners into tertiary education, so as to minimise the drop out rate.
1. THE MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME (flagship project)
"South African learners in the final years of high school need to be provided with the correct guidance and information about tertiary studies and opportunities beyond high school, in order to have a smooth and successful transition from high school into the world beyond secondary school."
The Phambili Initiative Mentorship Programme makes use of:
Sharing information through interactive workshops and campus tours; and
Making connections between grade 11 & 12 learners (mentees) in mid to low quintile schools, and tertiary education institution students (mentors) currently in the learner’s preferred study field,
to address the high first year of university drop-out rate amongst recent high school graduates via
2. THE PI20 BOT
The PI20 Bot is a Varsity Readiness WhatsApp Bot that acts as a checklist to guide learners through the steps that one needs to follow to best prepare for life after high school and into tertiary education institutions.
It was launched by the Phambili Initiative in May 2020, as a response to the Covid-19 caused lockdown, as a measure to create remote access to a tertiary education readiness tool.
Aim: - To create a system that will implement the Sharing of Information pillar of the Phambili Initiative with any student across the country in text form.
- To be a guide for high school learners to better answer the question:
“Are you ready for Tertiary education?”
- To be the most accessible, go-to source for information on High School to tertiary education transition on WhatsApp.
Goal: To be used by more than 50% of all the learners in Matric in South Africa to help assess how ready they are for tertiary education (university or college).
3. The PI Opportunities Group
The PI Opportunities Group project began as an internal project in the spirit of sharing information that would benefit mentor and mentee cohorts.
Through daily posting of academic and career opportunities, the group acts as a central source for opportunities posted throughout the internet on a daily basis.
While the effort for the project started in 2018 through a Facebook group and then a Reddit Page, it really took off in 2021 when the listings started being shared on WhatsApp in a group that grew into 3 groups of over 700 members within the first month.
The WhatsApp group had to be limited to 3 as the team organised itself to operate more sustainably and integrate more feature full private messaging platforms such as Telegram.
Bring A Professional To School (BAPToS)
Alongside the Mentorship Programme the Phambili Initiative aims to launch the Bring a Professional to School programme. This programme consists of career guidance of the following scope:
i. Content: Narration of academic journey from high school to professional career
ii. Variety: 8 Identified professional faculties
iii. Target: All grades learners | specifically grades 9 & 12
iv. Frequency: Twice monthly, for programme duration
v. Duration: 10 months of the school year
vi. Vision: To shorten the perceptual gap between high-school learners and career-professionals
vii. Mission: Inspiring and exposing high school learners to relatable positive role models
To get involved and contribute to the BAPTOS programme, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.