Back to school – JumpStart responds

Three children wearing masks go back to school
As children go back to school in February we apply the lessons we learned in 2020.

When Deputy Basic Education Minister Reginah Mhaule announced the delayed re-opening of schools last Friday, the JumpStart team was relieved and dismayed. We respond here with our plans for the year that now starts on 15 February:

Health first

It’s hard to compute precisely how much has been lost – from the skilled educators who will not return to their classrooms to the social dynamics and school lunches, plus reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. It’s easy to see how far behind some children have fallen in schools where the burden of poverty is hardest. “The stark and tragic reality of more than 1500 educators losing their lives to Covid-19 is a painful and timely reminder of the vulnerability of our colleagues employed by the DBE,” said JumpStart Programme Director, Jabu Thomo.

Back to school in 2021

We support putting health above all else, and will use the next two weeks to implement specific measures to ensure that optimal learning happens in 2021. Our goals are to:

  • Assist the District of Ekurhuleni South to collate parents’ contact details into a functioning database.

  • Provide additional training to tutors on best practice for foundation phase online education.

  • Install routers in schools so that parents can download the app and introductory videos on their smartphones.

  • Ensure paper-based learning materials get to all learners, with parental backup via video tutorials and WhatsApp support groups.

  • Equip all tutors with PPE to ensure their safe engagement in public transport and classrooms from 15 February.

District support

Jabu Thomo and his team will meet with District officials later this week. They will discuss how JumpStart can best support and integrate with their needs. He concluded, saying, “Our youth tutors cut their teeth learning how to implement home learning in 2020 and this year we aim to ensure that no learner is left behind!”

Ongoing sponsorship needed

The JumpStart Foundation Trust is a Public Benefit Organisation with a goal of accelerating South African youth into the digital economy through education, qualification and employment. Partner with us in order to qualify for your SARS Section 18(a) certificate. Support for our programme will help you meet your Skills Development obligations according to the Revised B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice. Email Betty Oliphant for more information.

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