Evaluating the 'MOT' ('Show Courage') life-skills programme at FET colleges in the Western Cape


Joy Papier


The MOT  SA life-skills training programme (hereafter referred to as ‘MOT’) which has its origins in Norway, has been implemented in Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges and senior schools in the Western Cape since 2007. MOT sets out a clear vision, a mission and intended outcomes with well-developed facilitator materials for the delivery of the course. The goals of the MOT programme are expressed in the focus areas of the questions addressed to students regarding their experiences of the programme. The questionnaire places a strong emphasis on self-knowledge, personal development and responsibility, caring for others, respect and affirmation, in line with the themes of the programme content.

The first cohort of 86 FET college students completed a three-year pilot of the MOT SA life-skills training programme in 2011. Since the pilot programme was introduced, five of the six Western Cape FET colleges have introduced the programme at their campuses and more facilitators have been trained.

During 2012, research was conducted with a second cohort who had completed the MOT programme between 2010 and 2012, a total of 378 students.


353 FET college students completed questionnaires. The questionnaire covered biographical information and categories of questions related to how the MOT programme had impacted on students’ classroom interactions with other students, on their personal values and attitudes, and on their personal choices. Students were asked to answer cloze procedure exercises (where respondents are asked to replace missing words in the text) while the final section asked for written comments on the programme. The questions in each section were based on the content areas in the MOT curriculum, and students were asked to reflect on their behaviour and attitudes before undertaking MOT and to decide when answering the questions whether MOT had changed the way they thought, felt or behaved. Students were allowed to remain anonymous in the hope that this might encourage them to answer truthfully.

Findings from the data

The programme showed positive impacts in three critical areas: personal development, interactions with peers, and motivation towards academic success. Students reported that MOT had encouraged them to become better students and to complete their courses of study. FET colleges do not as yet possess sufficient capacity within their own student support services units to provide this level of intervention and support for students.

The report can be viewed at www.feti.ac.za, http://www.mot.org.za/files/motsa_researchreport_jan2012.pdf

Professor Joy Papier is a Director of the Institute for Post-School Studies, University of the Western Cape.

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The Research Bulletin on Post-School Education and Training is prepared by the Directorate: Research Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation. Enquiries or contributions may be directed to: Lesego RamoseTel: 012 312 5657 Email: dhetresearch@dhet.gov.za Department of Higher Education and Training, 123 Francis Baard Street, Pretoria 0001