Programme fosters South Africa’s future critical thinkers

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In order to tackle South Africa’s most pressing issues, including youth unemployment, economic growth, and the energy crisis, it is critical to create a young population of problem solvers who are equipped with the right skills for a rapidly changing world.

The 2022 eduCate Matric Maths and Science Revision programme, which launched in Johannesburg this week, aims to do just that.

This unique maths and science revision programme, one of the most powerful and far-reaching interventions of its kind in South Africa, has proven to be a significant final mark booster for thousands of disadvantaged matric learners from across the country.

Run by Primestars, a leader in the field of youth development progammes, eduCate is a science and maths revision programme that covers the full CAPS curriculum for Grade 12 learners from under-resourced schools. Run annually since 2010, this year’s programme will kick off on 31 July.

“A solid maths and science grounding is crucial, especially when it comes to acceptance for various degrees, future career success and meeting the ever-changing demands of a technological world,” said Primestars Managing Director Martin Sweet. “Yet disparities in availability of resources in South Africa’s schools means that while some pupils excel, others get left behind. If our education system does not encourage the rapid development of fourth industrial revolution-linked skills, we may face a new, and worse, era of economic exclusion.”

EduCate isn’t just any revision programme. Students are transported to Ster Kinekor cinemas across the country, where they attend “theatres of learning” for 10 consecutive sessions (five maths lessons and five science lessons) on Sunday mornings. Public schools based in townships and underserviced areas are selected with the support of the Department of Basic Education. Programme sponsors are also able to include their schools.

To increase its reach, the programme — which this year has the campaign name of Class of 2022 #InItWithYou — has introduced a multi-platform approach. This ensures that those who are not able to attend the cinema lessons can still access learning materials. This is made possible by in-person lessons in rural areas; via WhatsApp; and free online learning platform, which has been zero-rated by Cell C.

Last year, more than 50 000 matriculants benefitted from the programme and 2022 will be the biggest implementation of the programme yet.

Critically, a commissioned impact report indicated that learners participating in the eduCate Matric Maths and Science Revision project in 2021 showed an average minimum improvement of 10.1% in mathematics and a 10.6% improvement in science from grade 11 end-of-year exams to the final NSC examination in grade 12. Other learners demonstrated increases over 25%.

“It was so exciting and refreshing to attend classes in a cinema,” says 2021 matric learner and project participant Nelisiwe Ndlovu, who attended Kwa Dlangezwa High School in Richards Bay and is now studying Pharmacy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Ndlovu, who achieved 83% in maths and 80% in science in her final exams, said she was incredibly grateful that she was part of the project. “They provided us with books and documents that included past papers that we used to prepare, which was such an important thing for matric students.”

“The eduCate initiative presents a practical, realistic and scalable model of how business can help to affect the Learning Renaissance by contributing to the education of its future leaders and workforce through technical innovation, exceptional teaching and dynamic interaction. Primestars is extremely proud and privileged to be associated with all our sponsors who made this powerful education and nation building initiative a reality and I am confident that others, who share a similar passion of doing good will become partners in learning,” said Sweet.

This year’s revision programme will kick off on 31 July. For more information about how you can join the programme or give your support, please contact: [email protected]

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