Life under lockdown #2: a golden opportunity to homeschool

Lockdown learning
Bathabile, 6, his mom, Madintle Kubere, and NumberSense tutor Nthabiseng Ngoepe keep going under lockdown.

If every cloud has a silver lining, then most people living under lockdown can’t see it easily. There are few bright spots when you have no work and a family to feed. Katlehong resident, Madintle Kubere, is an optimist however. With JumpStart’s help she turned her lack of employment into a golden opportunity to learn about homeschooling.

A mother’s creative approach to lockdown

Bathabile, 6, who started “big school” at Morojaneng Primary in January was very disappointed when schools closed and lockdown started. With an older brother in Grade 6 and his big sister in Matric, the responsibility for their continuing education was quite a load on his mother’s shoulders.

When level four got going, her husband, Paul, managed to return to work as a CNC setter and operator working on truck axles at a nearby metal factory. Her husband’s work dropped to two and a half days a week while she sought a job in the Covid economy. “Things are tough, but we’re trying by all means,” she says.

NumberSense tutors step up to help

The JumpStart team of tutors stepped forward, helping parents to access the NumberSense app on smartphones and tablets. Nthabiseng Ngoepe, a tutor from Sekgutlong Primary, had never met the learners from other schools, including Bathabile. She described the problem she faced: “It was very strange getting to know the youngest learners for the first time through a screen.”

Nthabiseng loves working with foundation phase children and uses the JumpTrak app to keep tabs on each child’s progress. She relished the challenge of teaching maths remotely and was glad to join other colleagues learning to do this. She was glad to see Bathabile becoming a star student through the combination of voice notes, phone calls and text messages, and his mother’s devoted support.

Bathabile scores top marks

“He was an awesome student right from day one who always scored high marks. When a child learns fast and loves working with numbers, he’s already on the right road. When a parent gets involved to facilitate the process, success is much more likely!”

Madintle was over the moon to hear that Bathabile is a top performer. She takes great care when setting up each maths session, collecting the abacus and coins for counting. Despite the hardships of lockdown, she encourages her children to make art to keep their imagination working. “My three kids are the light of my life, so I push them hard. I didn’t get enough education myself and I want the best for them,” she explained. Madintle receives 100MB of data from JumpStart, which lasts her two weeks. “I top up with another 100MB to get to the end of the month,” she says.

Ayeye, JumpStart!

“NumberSense app is the best. Thank you so much, Nthabiseng, for your big effort, shaping the future of our kids in these uncertain times. Our learners are so lucky to have teachers like you. Ayeye Jumpstart, ayeye!”

Partner with our programme

JumpStart Foundation seeks partners who wish to contribute to the success of the programme. Your donation will benefit foundation phase learners in underperforming schools or provide #StudyAssist bursaries for worthy recipients. Meet your skills development obligations according to the Revised B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice. Your donation entitles you to a SARS Section 18A certificate. Email Betty for more information.


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