Youth Day reminds us that access to education remains an enormous hurdle for millions of South Africans. Bursaries are hard to come by and training remains out of reach. We are celebrate and recognise those youth who entered our programme to make a difference to the future of the country.
Some despair of ever completing their studies. Despite delays and frustration since leaving school our high potential tutors are now within reach of their goals. StudyAssist bursaries made possible by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Sasol and others is integral to their success. Watch out world, there’s some seriously super talent coming your way!
Learning to like maths
Thulisile Mngomezulu (30) tutors at Realeboha Primary School. She refuses to relinquish her dreams of becoming a teacher. Although it’s been a long time getting to this point, she is finally studying an Education degree. Jabu Thomo, our programme director, says that she is “an energetic and ambitious young woman who is willing to take up any challenge in life! She continues to work well with teachers, learners, and parents.”
She aims to inspire and encourage other youth who are frustrated by their own slow progress. “All the years have gone by but there’s still nothing to show, although I had no control over some of the things that happened in my life. I hope to be an effective primary school teacher. I’m passionate about seeing young children enjoy mathematics. because my teacher made me dislike mathematics. Only now, being part of this programme, I understand that mathematics is not difficult but it is actually fun.
“Maths helps with thinking development. When I do maths with the young children it fascinates me how they discover solutions to problems. Critical thinking and problem solving are skills that will help them in future.”
Want to bake? Know your sums!
Mpelane Motloung (30) is a Mohlodi Primary School tutor, currently studying Early Childhood Development and aiming to achieve a Grade R diploma.
Teaching is a novel discipline and I’m eager to continue learning while growing my new career. You find each learner in the classroom has unique and different characters. I’m thankful for the JumpStart opportunity. I’ve gained so much experience and knowledge. I’m learning how to deal with and encourage learners. I’m able to help them understand new topics.
All of us do maths throughout our lives. At home, while cooking you need to keep an eye on the time so you don’t burn your food. When baking, maths shows its face too! The learners need to understand how to manipulate numbers because they show up everywhere. I’m equipping them for all aspects of life!
Confidence, curiosity and kindness in maths learning
Hlengiwe Ngcobo (31) tutors at Mampudi Primary School. She’s a final year B.Ed student.
“Early on, I wasted a lot of time because I didn’t turn my hopes into plans. With JumpStart, I got an amazing opportunity that is teaching me to grow in many ways. I’d like to raise confident and kind children, and look after myself, all while helping others get along in life. Live life and love it! It becomes more meaningful, and each action becomes more lively. Being peaceful definitely helps the mind to function to its fullest potential!
I love teaching maths to children because it introduces essential concepts, skills, and thinking strategies. It supports learning across the curriculum and helps them make sense of the numbers, patterns and shapes they see around them. Teaching data handling in the digital world also contributes to their development as successful learners. Children delight in using mathematics to solve problems, especially when an unexpected discovery makes new connections. They grow in confidence, while using logical reasoning. I hope to mentor young girls in the education field.
By finding innovative solutions and trying different approaches to problems, maths offers children powerful ways of communicating. They learn to explore and explain their ideas using symbols and diagrams. They can discover how mathematics has developed over time and shapes our economy, society and culture. Studying mathematics stimulate curiosity, fosters creativity and it equips learners with skills they will need throughout their lives.
Patience and persistence
Tryphina Letsoalo (29) tutors at Theha Setjhaba Primary in Sasolburg. She has an N6 Certificate and hopes to complete her Diploma in Chemical Engineering.
“I joined the JumpStart team because I enjoy mathematics, but I lacked patience and persistence. I have both in spades now. Joining the JumpStart team helped me become more outspoken and confident. The more kids I help, the more fulfilment I get. I see how learners are impacted. They now find mathematics more enjoyable. I never knew maths could be so much fun! It has been a great experience for me as well. I am greeted with excitement from the first moment I enter the classroom.
The kids made learning mathematics simple and easy, and they helped me fall in love with mathematics. Me, who thought mathematics was difficult. They are my inspiration! The way they tackle their problems with excitement amazes me. If you tackle your problem with a positive attitude, then there’s no problem too big for you. I thank JumpStart for the opportunity.”
Star jumps and counting clapping
Rino Motladile (22) hopes to combine her love of Public Relations and education in a career. She tutors at Kingsway Christian Primary, where she’s gaining knowledge and confidence. It has had a huge impact on the learners. Their maths improves and they enjoy gaining problem solving skills. At first, I was doing NumberSense with the Foundation phase only. After two years, the Principal and other teachers suggested that it should be done by the whole school because it was having such a big impact on their maths.
I enjoy my work. The more I help them, the more fulfilment I get. Before we start a lesson, especially with the foundation phase learners, I do physical exercises, like hand-to-knee exercises and star jumps while counting. This keeps them focused on the fun. I am currently studying for a Diploma in Public Relations. After I finish the course I hope to register for a Bachelor of Education. I have fallen in love with working with kids and am very keen to improve their lives.
Support makes the difference
Tutors featured in this article are supported by small businesses like Eve’s Tea, companies like Senator International and Intasol, corporates like Sasol and international philanthropies Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. Your support will help a young person secure their future with a qualification! Please consider a donation to The JumpStart Foundation Trust. With your contribution we can assist talented youth to finish their studies and we can expand this vital work. Partner with us and qualify for your SARS Section 18(a) certificate or to meet your BBEEE obligations. Email Betty Oliphant for more information.