The organisation currently delivers four key services aimed at enabling learners to access and succeed in meaningful employment. The organisation acknowledges the increasingly linked relationship between level of education and employability and is committed to continue to add further innovative and creative services in a bid to meet its objectives in this area.
GMS provides a 1-year full-time programme of classes to prepare students to re-write selected National Senior Certificate subjects. Since 1994, over 1 500 young people have graduated from with an improved Matric. They have gone on to access study and employment opportunities that would otherwise have been far from their reach. The school has developed and grown over time, the past few years have seen its student intake grow significantly (from 80 in 2010 up to the current number of 172). This flagship project of GADRA Education set a new benchmark at the beginning of 2015 when it established itself as the leading feeder school of Rhodes University.
All young people in Grahamstown are important to GADRA Education. Those Grade 12 learners who qualify to write supplementary examinations seldom qualify for admission to the GADRA Matric School. Yet their immediate academic challenges are very important for their future prospects in the labour market. Thus GADRA (in partnership with Rhodes) now runs a four week school, from mid-January to mid-February, to prepare students for their supplementary examinations. The school is called The High Impact Supplementary School (or HISS). It combines teaching, self-study, group-study and mentoring.
Disadvantaged learners frequently lack adequate support systems and good role-models. To address these problems, GADRA manages a mentoring programme for Grade 12 learners at the Gadra Matric School and in selected Grahamstown public schools. The latter is implemented in partnership with Rhodes University. The mentoring is carried out by trained Rhodes student volunteers and it covers key topics such as personal planning and study skills. Grade 12 learners with mentors perform better academically than those without mentors. The programme is aimed at increasing the number of local disadvantaged students who obtain Bachelor passes and secure admission to Rhodes University.
Accessing Rhodes University is a preliminary achievement; the purpose of accessing the university is to graduate successfully because this sets one up for meaningful economic activity. GADRA Educations bursary programme is strategically designed to assist disadvantaged students to succeed at Rhodes. An area given specific attention is the large gap between study and the world of work. Students who are advantaged have the social capital to convert their university qualification into meaningful employment, this is not so for students without the networks and connections which come with privilege.