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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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Podcast: Maths matters to Refiloe Mpakanyane at 702

At the crack of dawn, on Sunday, 24 February 2021, the JumpStart WhatsApp groups were abuzz with excitement. Radio 702‘s Weekend Breakfast show host, Refiloe Mpakanyane, had invited our General Manager, Callen Hodgskiss, to talk about JumpStart’s maths education and youth employment projects on air. Tutors listened in from around the province, and friends of JumpStart tuned in from as far afield as Melbourne. History The discussion kicked off with a brief history of our origins. We responded to the need for more skilled matriculants to enter the ICT sector. Steve Mahoney of JumpCo Digital realised that a maths education intervention was needed, so JumpStart was born. He chose to focus on the base of the educational pyramid, starting at Grade One. JumpStart began as a programme supporting teachers with up to 60 learners in their care in under-resourced classrooms. We trained unemployed matriculants, like Dimakatso Skabata, who teach basics mathematics using paper workbooks and […]

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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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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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