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Dimakatso Skabata

Future teacher, Dimakatso Skabata, attends Sasolburg orientation

Dimakatso Skabata is an intern with a full dance card! On the work side, this 29-year-old splits her time between Kopanelang Thuto Primary, where she tutors six Grade 1 classes and a single Grade 2 class. She also helps out at Taaibos Primary, where she’s works with four Grade 1 classes. Maki, as her friends know her, has participated since 2017 in the programme that runs in Zamdela. She gave birth to her second child in May 2020 and she’s determined to reach her dream of becoming a primary school teacher through a B Ed in Foundation Phase at UNISA. Maki puts her personal motto into practice every day: “Always watch your thoughts because they will become your actions!”  Her goal is to become an excellent teacher and she wastes no opportunity to improve her chances. She was the first tutor to reflect on the input she received from the JumpStart team at the Boitjhorisong […]

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Celebrating global partners on World Education Day

On World Education Day South African children should be polishing their school shoes and sharpening their pencils… Instead they await a delayed return to school. Today we give thanks to those who have gone the extra mile during the pandemic to minimise the effects of disrupted education. We join hands with the 1.6 billion students around the globe who are weathering the unprecedented disruption of learning due to COVID-19. Those who have helped are the lifeblood of progress! Going the extra mile Many parents and educators have extended themselves beyond what they thought was possible. Without their input, children and youth could have fared significantly worse. We are especially grateful to those who have extended financial, emotional and logistical support. To this end, our key funder, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) has been a game changer for the JumpStart Foundation. Since 2018, MSDF has supported our NumberSense programme in the Ekurhuleni South District, […]

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Back to school – JumpStart responds

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 […]

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“Kasi kids” building robots feature in Mail & Guardian

JumpStart’s robotics and coding programme was featured in the Mail & Guardian as 2020 came to a close. Journalist, Khaya Koko, took an interest in the programme and interviewed Daniella Lekgau, who is the Robotics & Coding Project Manager who successfully took the project online during lockdown. He wrote a comprehensive article about the Grade 5, 6 and 7 learners attending primary schools in Katlehong who have been learning these exciting skills: Township children are being primed to participate in the artificial intelligence industries of the future through an extramural robotics and coding programme that rivals those at private schools. More than 60 children in grades five to seven at nine primary schools in Katlehong, Gauteng, have, since 2016, been part of a programme facilitated by the JumpStart Foundation, which aims to “transform underperforming classrooms into centres of maths and science excellence”, according to its website. According to a report by India-based research firm Markets and […]

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JumpStart responds to South Africa’s foundation phase maths crisis

Earlier this month, the bleak news of the international TIMSS study 2019 registered with South African educators and parents. It’s hard to comprehend that a staggering 63% of Grade 5 learners lack basic maths comprehension. This means that they are unlikely to succeed in higher grade mathematics. The root cause of this problem is a lack of foundational phase numeracy: children need to grasp numbers and master basic concepts by the time they start Grade 4. It’s a question of getting the basics right in the early grades. “The negative impact on their long term education is severe, but as grim as these statistics are, there is a solution that offers hope on a grand scale,” said Callen Hodgskiss, General Manager of the JumpStart Foundation. JumpStart addressing the maths crisis since 2014 “Since 2016, the JumpStart Foundation has been addressing foundation phase numeracy in 20 schools in Katlehong, with another five schools coming aboard in […]

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