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Opening doors with Avela Tshatshu

Future teacher, Avela Tshatshu, is opening doors – for the young learners in her care and for her own career aspirations. Becoming a JumpStart tutor was a turning point that propelled her career in a direction she never previously imagined. The use of the JumpTrak app to mark and monitor the children in her classes awoke Avela’s curiosity. She wanted to learn more about apps, how they work and how they are developed and designed. She is fascinated by the JumpStart robotics and coding programmes that are being taught at intermediate phase in some schools. A fire has been lit inside Avela and her thirst for knowledge burns brightly. This talented youth tutor is passionate about teaching maths, consistent in her approach and brings compassion to the classes she teaches. Based at Isaac Mhlambi Primary School in Sasolburg, her primary focus is on the Grade 3 learners, but she works with earlier grades too.  Colleagues’ […]

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Hands up for education on Human Rights Day

On Human Rights Day we commemorate those who gave their lives for a democratic South Africa, and reflect on some of the challenges that educators, learners and parents face. We acknowledge the tutors, teachers and our programme staff who count amongst the so many who work to ensure that quality learning takes place in mathematics. Goal 4 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda The JumpStart Foundation participates in the goal of promoting “education for all”, which is part of the Sustainable Development Goal 4. The Goal aims to: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all“.  Our work helps to ensure that all children in our programme are numerically competent by the time they complete Grade 3. This achievement improves the likelihood of their completing their secondary education, and empowers learners to contribute to the progress of the country as they experience meaningful work. What the experts say In a […]

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International Day of Mathematics with robotics and coding

Whether you call it Pi Day or International Day of Mathematics, maths fundis around the world let their hair down in celebration. In the third month, on the fourteenth day, and at the fifteenth hour the numbers align as 3.1415! Some folk celebrate quite literally, by eating “pies”. Pi (as represented by the lower-case Greek letter π) is one of the most well-known mathematical constants. It is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter – hence the choice of a nice round pie. Those with a tooth for maths can dig right in! Here in South Africa, the JumpStart Robotics & Coding team examines instead the circular wheel of a robot used to teach a love of mathematics. From Pi Day to International Day of Mathematics Back in 1988 the American physicist, Larry Shaw, organised a celebratory event at the San Francisco Exploratorium on this day, which also happens to be Albert Einstein’s […]

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JumpStart’s team talks about a year of lockdown

Way back when… in January 2020, before we all wore masks and sanitised our hands into old age, our team welcomed the interns to the year that had just kicked off! We even wrote a blog post about the day – Terrific 20-somethings learn and hope! A few short weeks later, education as we knew it changed. Nobody could foretell how drastically our lives would be impacted. Every facet of life transformed overnight. Almost a year on, the JumpStart team reflects on how we shifted gear, how we helped children to continue learning maths, how we brought in their parents via digital platforms, and how we plan to keep going and improving! Jabu Thomo    Our programme director, Jabu, reflects on the systems we had in place that helped us implement a contingency plan. “First we allowed the learners to use their NumberSense workbooks at home, and created Whatsapp groups and group SMS’s to support […]

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Tutoring our JumpStart tutors

When JumpStart tutors faced the delayed return to school due to Covid-19 the team turned the disappointment into an exciting opportunity. The extra time was a bonus. We chose to tutor our tutors in an expanded way. Programme Director, Jabu Thomo, planned a series of workshops over four days at various venues suitable for socially distant learning. Some 82 interns were divided into small groups at Kumalo Primary School in Katlehong, at Keketso Primary School in Vosloorus, at the Boitjhorisong Resource Centre in Sasolburg, and at the JumpCo Labs in Northcliff, Johannesburg. Tutor Training Opportunity Each training day comprised of four 60 minutes sessions aimed at improving tutors’ understanding of the teaching modalities and responsibilities, their own professional preparedness, discussion of study and career opportunities, and motivational talks. The jam-packed programme included a raft of activities to encourage tutors to reach their full potential. We had offered some basic career guidance and psychometric testing. Tutors […]

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