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Opening doors with Avela Tshatshu

Future teacher, Avela Tshatshu, is determined to open doors – both 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 […]

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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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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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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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