YES4YOUTH – Tutors tell it like it is – March 2022

Six JumpStart tutors

We are terrifically proud of our tutors, and are thrilled to partner with YES4YOUTH. These partnerships make all the difference, enabling unemployed youth to gain the experience that will help them access employment, return to studies, or commence them, and help to change mathematics outcomes on the ground for the youngest learners struggling to gain a sense of number. Last month we featured a couple of unique voices in our February round up. This month, we’re excited to share new faces and their musings on the programme.

Practising mathematics at home

Busisiwe Mfazwe (21) is sponsored by Youth@Work. She is a tutor at No-Holland Junior Secondary School in Idutywa, Eastern Cape.

In the beginning I was very scared to teach children as it was my first time, but I told myself that I would get to know them as time went on. I’ve gained valuable experience in teaching children and I’ve enjoyed working with their individual personalities and educational needs. It gives me great feeling being a teacher and my family and friends are happy to see me going to work every day. The children in my community have already benefited a lot from coming to my home to practise Mathematics.

New firsts, new perspectives

Malashe Sinethemba (32) is also based at No-Holland Junior Secondary School. She is sponsored by Lightstone.

The difficulties involved in my first experience of teaching allowed me to see things from a different perspective. I’ve also learned how to explain to a single learner in detail about a particular problem, as well as being able to assist them in a group. There are many problems with maths education currently, but this programme has already improved the children’s learning experience. I’m so happy to be able to start my teaching career because this is a field of work I’m deeply passionate about. This is a great start to my career. I really hope that the YES programme is implemented across the Eastern Cape to assist all learners in Maths. Malashe says to other hopeful educators, “Never quit following your dream to be a teacher.”

Money management and social media savvy

Nwabisa Mphambo (27) is a tutor at Tsatsi Primary School in Sasolburg, Free State. Nwabisa is sponsored by Lightstone.

The YES4YOUTH smartphone and the apps are really helpful. Module One talks about how to manage money effectively. This was very informative as I’ve never been great at doing this. The module shows the importance of saving money and spending it wisely. I can proudly say I’m on the road to becoming a wise spender. Another module talks about the importance of knowing what to post on social media and not sharing your password with anyone. I have learned not to use the same password for all my accounts. Another point is thinking about what I post on my social media. Now I make sure to proofread all my posts and ensure my posts won’t affect me negatively in the future.

Multi-tasking and public speaking

Andile Makaluza (29) is sponsored by KSB, and is a tutor at SW Mbanga Junior Secondary School in Butterworth, in the Eastern Cape.

Gaining presentation skills allows me to feel free when I talk in front of a large audience. My community is also happy to see me help children improve their mathematical skills, comprehension, and therefore their grades. Multi-tasking and dealing with different personalities is a new skill I’m learning. I’ve also gained self-assurance in my skills as a presenter and educator, learning to speak in public. This has motivated me to register at Walter Sisulu University doing a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

Shining a light on Maths

Phindile Kali (23) is an educator’s assistant at Luzuko Senior Primary School located in Mdantsane. She has a BSc (Agric) from the University of Fort Hare with a major in agricultural economics, and has been sponsored by Bay Engineering.

My family is benefiting so much from this opportunity. I buy groceries for everyone at home and help to pay the electricity bills. I even helped with my siblings’ school uniforms. The community has something to look up to now. The children did not all believe in education but they do now because of us. I am a “teacher” even after school and that is not a problem for me. I’m happy to be involved in their lives. They know where they can reach me when they need me. I am always willing to help where I can. That involves crossing a busy bridge on the way home from school! I want to be a light for the children.

Giving back and shaping minds

Awethu Mdingi (26) tutors at Nyanisweni Primary School at Tsomo, in the Eastern Cape, and she’s sponsored by Youth@Work.

After a long period of unemployment I could return to work and acquire new skills. This is an unforgettable experience. I’m glad to be giving back to my community and assisting in shaping black children’s minds. Many schools in rural areas are under-equipped. Connectivity issues frustrate our work in ICT frequently. Our direct supervisors are sometimes overwhelmed with their work and don’t have much time to assist us. We often go the extra mile and to carry out our duties.

Partner with us

Can you help us to expand our work with companies like Lightstone, Bay Engineering, KSB, and Youth@Work? We need your help to make a tangible difference to underperforming classrooms in South Africa. You can participate in training unemployed youth to be education assistants in the maths classroom,  return to tertiary education and find a path to meaningful work! Email Betty Oliphant to learn how your contribution will help you meet your B-BBEE scorecard and/or qualify you for a qualify for a Section 18A tax exemption certificate.

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