Sasolburg tutors celebrated an excellent year with JumpStart programme director, Jabu Thomo. “It’s time,” he said, “to celebrate their successful effort, both individually and collectively. The team has done very well, pulling together and building up the programme which is funded by SASOL. The tutors showed constructive teamwork, working well with each other, professional commitment to their own education, and dedication to the children in their classrooms.” Over a delicious lunch Jabu chatted to three of the ladies who are all UNISA students.
One-on-one attention is a rare treat
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! This fact inspires her help the learners in her care to 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.
Observing children’s progress is priceless
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. “It’s priceless to watch how a child who can’t count at the beginning of year, can acquire that skill by April!”
Like Maki, Mosa enjoys teamwork with her JumpStart colleagues. “Personally, I learned that straight talk doesn’t break a friendship. Discussing difficulties has led us to where we are today.” She was very glad to hear that she’s doing a good job. She enjoys the camaraderie of her colleagues, who enjoy being on the JumpStart programme.
A mother of four loves playing hopscotch
Mamela Nkitseng always has many balls in the air with her children’s needs and her B. Ed studies in the Foundation Phase. She tutors Grade 2 and 3 at Lehutso Primary School where the problem of learner absenteeism is worrying. 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!”
She works with learners coming from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. “Yet,” she says, “they all need someone who loves children. They need an adult who’ll go all out to support them. This gives my kids hope, so that’s what I’m doing!”
Sasolburg tutors light the fire of learning
Thomo congratulated all the Sasolburg tutors 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.”
Help the JumpStart numeracy and youth employment programme grow
The Sasolburg tutors’ studies are covered by SASOL bursaries. Would you like help high-potential youth to complete their degrees, and make a difference to the future of education in the country? We can help your organisation to meet your BBEEE scorecard for skills development. Email Betty Oliphant for more information.