The issue of learners arriving late at school is a problem nationwide. Punctuality is important because learners who arrive late at school often disrupt lessons and the general management of the school. Research by Prof Martin Wittenberg at UCT shows that 20% of teaching time is lost on average each day due to late coming and absenteeism.
In an effort to address the problem of late-coming EE embarked on a very dynamic and creative campaign, driven by learners, to assist schools by encouraging learners to be at school on time. The campaign was launched on May 4, 2009 at 7:30am. For weeks on end EE members were outside their schools by 7:30am singing, displaying posters about punctuality, and handing out information about the damage done by late-coming.
The campaign was special because it was led by learners themselves. Learners enforced the campaign by confronting teachers and their fellow learners who arrived late to school. The campaign succeeded in making late-coming the subject of discussion and debate within schools, and in drastically reducing the number of late-comers.
At a high school in Khayelitsha for example, the number of later comers decreased from 121 at the beginning of the campaign in early May to just one person by the end of the month. This was by no means an isolated example.