Malefu Rampai – educator waiting in the wings

Malefu Rampai is a teacher waiting to graduate
Malefu Rampai has completed her B Ed through UNISA, and is eager to start her first appointment as an educator.

Little did Malefu Rampai know just six years ago that she would fall in love with mathematics when she started as a JumpStart tutor. Her experience teaching NumberSense to children in Sasolburg was instrumental in persuading her to major in mathematics. After a long slog and at the age of 30, Malefu Rampai recently completed her B Ed through UNISA.

She can hardly wait to become a full-time fully qualified educator! Despite having completed all her coursework and having her fees are all paid up, thanks to a StudyAssist bursary from JumpStart and Sasol, she can’t get a job until she receives her graduation certificate. She is one of the many UNISA students justifiably “upset” as heard on Radio 702 recently. Malefu shared her JumpStart journey with us.

When and how did you join JumpStart?

I joined the JumpStart foundation in 2014 when the programme was first introduced in Sasolburg and it soon grew into a terrific team of capable women. The previous year I was doing the UPP programme (Maths and Chemistry) at Boitjhorisong Resource Centre. Sis Patience told us about the JumpStart Foundation. The following year I couldn’t get into the University of the Free State because of a lack of funds. Instead, I started my JumpStart journey!

What was your biggest learning while on this programme?

I wouldn’t be where I’m today if it wasn’t for JumpStart. Firstly, I just love working with the children at Bofulatshepe Primary School. Knowing that I’m giving someone knowledge fills me with joy. Again, my experience working here has been overwhelming and has actually persuaded me to major in mathematics. I have learned management skills as a team leader. This gave me the chance to recruit interns and facilitate their progress, organising PPE during Covid-19, ensuring the programme is running smoothly, and oversee all the Sasolburg schools. Lastly, I have developed my technical skills throughout the programme.

Who helped you in your career quest?

I must say the Boitjhorisong Resources Centre did a great job introducing me to the JumpStart Foundation. The lessons I’ve learned have elevated the teaching component in me and JumpStart also gave me a full bursary towards my studies. Our CEO Steve Mahony always encouraged me to pursue a career in teaching. I’ve been surrounded by family and friends who were there for me through thick and thin. It hasn’t been a smooth journey by any stretch of the imagination. At times being a team lead is overwhelming but I love working with the ladies who make my job easy by doing their work properly.

What is the highlight of your day as a tutor?

Nothing makes me prouder than watching learners gain knowledge and succeeding in life. It’s a privilege knowing that I helped them get the skills they need for the future.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Because I love maths, I want to study the subject further. I hope to get my honours degree in Mathematics or an advanced diploma in mathematics teaching. My future career goal includes becoming a mathematics subject advisor. As a tutor and team lead, I have also really enjoyed gaining new skills. This includes learning about project management, data analysis, Excel, Microsoft word and Power point presentation, and data management. While looking after the tablets I ensure we have thecorrect version updated for the JumpTrak app. I feel confident that these skills will help me reach my long term goals.

What advice would you give to a young person who is thinking of teaching as a career?

Go for it! It is never too late to get your first degree, and there is no such a thing as, “There are no funds!” or “My matric results are low.” I started my degree with an upgrade programme to get into the mainstream university system. Six years later I got my degree. If I can do it, so can you. Never give up!

Partner with us

JumpStart welcomes partners who are keen to support young South Africans like Malefu Rampai, in the process of studying for meaningful careers. Your support for our tutors could qualify for your SARS Section 18(a) certificate, or ensure that you meet your Skills Development requirements. Please email Betty Oliphant for further information.

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