Programme Director, Jabu Thomo, joined the Sasolburg team to thank them for an excellent year on 15 November. It was time to celebrate their successful effort - individually and collectively. “The team has done excellent work this year, showing constructive teamwork, professional commitment to their own education, and dedication in their classrooms.”
Jabu joined them for lunch, and chatted to three of the ladies who are all UNISA students.
Maki Skabatso, teaches Grade 1s at Kopanelang Thuto and Taaibos Primary. This bubbly 28-year-old won first prize for mathematics when she was in Grade 7, a fact which inspires her to ensure that her learners love - and understand! - maths as much as she did.
Maki loves giving one-on-one sessions to the learners who need it most, but overcrowded classrooms don’t allow this much. “That’s been frustrating this year, but learning to speak Afrikaans and build good tutor-learner relationships made me very happy!” she said. “I’m so glad about the learners who passed well.” She enjoys having colleagues who are eager to share their knowledge. “It’s really amazing being able to help each other out,” she said.
Mosa Letsie has the Grade 1 to 3 Malakabeng Primary learners under her wing. A final year B. Ed student, she spoke about the importance of patience. “Watching a child who can’t count at the beginning of year acquire that skill by April is priceless!”
Like Maki, Mosa enjoys teamwork with her JumpStart colleagues. “Personally, I learned that straight talk doesn't break a friendship. Talking about difficulties has led us to where we are today.” She was very glad to hear that she’s doing a good job and that they enjoy being on the JumpStart programme.
Mamela Nkitseng always has many balls in the air as a mother of four. She is also completing her B. Ed. She tutors Grade 2 and 3 at Lehutso Primary where the problem of learner absenteeism worries her. She is eager to ensure that nobody is left behind.
The highlight of her work day is seeing progress. She said: “When they can solve problems on their own without assistance and are able to read - even though the books are not in their mother tongue - that gives me great satisfaction!”
The learners she works with come from different socio-economic backgrounds. “Yet they all need someone who loves children, who’ll go all out to give them support. This gives my kids hope, so that’s what I’m doing!”
Thomo congratulated all the tutors in the group who juggle the challenges of family, study and work. “Education brings education,” he said. “When you teach a child, you don’t fill a pot; you light a fire. So, too, by opening your own books every night, you keep the flames of learning alight.”