Nearly 800 000 matric learners have been out of school for over two months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With high schools opening for grade 12 only last week, many will struggle to catch up with the loads of maths and science content that will be assessed in their final year-end exams.
While learners from ex-model C and private schools had access to online learning during the closure, learners from township and rural schools were seriously disadvantaged by their limited access to technologies that would have allowed teachers to remain in contact with them during the lockdown.
In 2019, the World Economic Forum ranked the quality of South Africa’s math and science education last out of 148 countries. According to Elijah Mhlanga, spokesperson for the department of basic education (DBE): “A new normal will have to emerge on how we work in the basic education sector.”
Enter eduCate! YOUTHSTART’s eduCate is a critical Covid-19 response
eduCate is a nationwide matric maths and science revision programme for underserved communities in South Africa, which has been delivering free matric math and science revision for the past decade and is aligned to the DBE’s comprehensive recovery plan. The 2020 model includes taking thousands of matric learners to cinemas nationwide to experience edutainment at its best. As part of the experience and to keep them safe, learners will be supplied with masks, hand sanitizer and educational material on how to avoid the spread of Covid-19.
eduCate covers the entire matric maths and science curriculum and the weekly cinema lessons are simultaneously broadcast to 25 digitised cinemas across the country, over 10 weeks and 25 hours.
Learners also interact with subject experts, who are available at each cinema to address questions from the learners. Each learner receives a revision textbook as well.
Participating school management teams will receive Covid-19 School Management Training on best practice, sanitizer blast equipment, thermometers and awareness booklets.
You’re probably asking, why not just put all this content online? Currently there are significant barriers for online learning for disadvantaged learners: limited numbers of smart phones, the high cost of data and a mind-set that is rooted in the idea that schooling takes place in a uniform, in a classroom, in front of a teacher. These factors pose a significant risk to digital migration in education for this audience.
Until we can effectively address these challenges (we are investing in finding solutions), edutainment remains an impactful platform for delivering educational content.
Our mission is to support learners who need it most, when they need it most! And to remember the incredible resilience and sacrifice of the youth of 1976, who fought for freedom in education, we launch the YOUTHSTART eduCate 2020 campaign.
“This revision programme is really important, because it has assisted us in identifying all our problems and also addressed key concepts that we previously struggled with, and hence contributed to the development of our understanding,” said 2019 matric beneficiary Alexis Okoroafor.
The 2019 independent impact assessment showed that learners from participating schools demonstrated on average a 10% increase in their final maths and science marks, which contributed to increased pass and distinction rates. The report goes on to say: “eduCate is of inestimable value, not only to nation building but to the economic future of South Africa.”
Thanks to the committed corporate citizens Sanlam, Sasria, Bidvest and Omnia, eduCate 2020 is gathering momentum.
YOUTHSTART has already raised R5-million and needs to raise an additional R10-million to roll out comprehensive math and science revision nationwide by September. — Nkosinathi Moshoana
Join the Movement and make contact to play your part.
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 011 430 4740