We support two aspects of ORT SA CAPE's educational work in Cape Town. The first allows children from disadvantaged areas to gain exposure to science, robotics and technology, through workshops. The second trains teachers to effectively develop young children's perceptual skills. This has a great impact on their progress in all subjects, including maths. In response to COVID-19, ORT SA CAPE adapted its education programmes. It also started a food programme, as the poverty level rose.
Research shows that in South Africa, 6.5 million children under 6 are deprived of critical early learning opportunities. For every 100 children entering school, 40 will complete Matric exams (in their final year of high school); 28 will pass; 4 will study further & 1 will graduate with a degree in science or technology. Teachers need further training, to deliver a good quality education. During the pandemic, the digital divide has become even more obvious, as well as the lack of basic needs.
The science workshops allow children from impoverished communities to gain exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (the STEM subjects). Through robotics, the children develop innovative solutions to problems and engage practically in teams. The perceptual skills trainings enable teachers to teach more effectively. This has a multiplier effect as it will impact many disadvantaged schools. Since the pandemic started, providing and food allows for continued learning and health.
The children's workshops build confidence and can inspire a long-term interest in STEM. This opens the children's minds to the possibility of careers in STEM. The perceptual skills trainings ensure that teachers in disadvantaged areas are better equipped to deliver a quality education. This gives children more opportunities for the future. Since poverty levels rose during the lockdowns, the new food programme addresses an immediate need, helping children to stay well and avoid hunger.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).