A classroom at Vuyani Primary School
Thank you so much for supporting ORT SA CAPE's programmes in South Africa, through CHW's GlobalGiving page. A special thanks to each person who helped during GlobalGiving's recent "Little by Little" fundraising challenge too.
ORT SA CAPE runs training sessions for teachers, as well as science and robotics workshops for children, who come from disadvantaged communities around Cape Town. ORT SA CAPE also has a programme for interns, focusing on Early Childhood Development.
Schools in South Africa have been closed since 18 March and the country went into a full lockdown later that month. ORT SA CAPE's offices have been closed since 18 March, but the team has continued to work remotely. Bev and Karen at ORT SA CAPE have been keeping us updated. ORT SA CAPE has regularly provided online training materials and resources to their interns and learners and has been keeping in contact and offering support. ORT SA CAPE has also been posting ideas on its Facebook page, for educational activities to do with children at home, during the lockdown.
Below is a report received from Bev, with some updates on activities from before the lockdown. Thanks to Bev and Karen for the photos too.
Any support now will be greatly appreciated, as ORT SA CAPE continues to work remotely and will also continue with its training sessions and workshops once the lockdown is over.
Report from ORT SA CAPE:
ORT SA CAPE is an education NGO focusing on training and supporting teachers in disadvantaged areas. Our vision is a future where all teachers receive quality training and all children have access to quality education. ORT SA CAPE prides itself on excellent, needs-based training and after-training support visits. Besides concentrating on delivering training in literacy, numeracy and perceptual skills we also offer technology skills development through Robotics and Coding.
ORT SA CAPE trained 1,732 teachers in 2019 allowing us to impact 51,900 pupils on their education journey. This significant increase in teacher numbers is largely in part to our position as a respected education and training provider within the Western Cape, South Africa, as well as to the strong collaborative partnerships and relationships that ORT SA CAPE is proudly building.
Through the support from Children’s Helpers Worldwide, we are able to offer training and support to a number of teachers from disadvantaged communities. This year we have embarked on a research project at a school in Gugulethu, Vuyani Primary. Gugulethu is an impoverished informal settlement on the outskirts of Cape Town.
The funds received from CHW... in February, have been partly allocated to the Vuyani Project. We will also include LEGO training with these teachers as well as a Perceptual Skills Short Course. In addition to the Vuyani project, we have also allocated some of the funds to LEGO Playbox training for 40 teachers from the Dunoon ECD [Early Childhood Development] Forum. [This training was originally due to have taken place at the end of April, but the lockdown is ongoing for now.]
The Vuyani project was borne out of concern that children learning in African languages in the Foundation Phase (Grades R [Reception] – 3) are required to change their LoLT (Language of Learning and Teaching) from their home language (in this case, Xhosa) to English in Grade 4. This means that from Grade 4 they learn everything in English. This includes subjects with complicated concepts like Mathematics and Sciences.
The pupils from these schools have less vocabulary and comprehension in English when they reach Grade 4, making it challenging for them to learn in English. An added challenge is that teachers in the Foundation Phase (Grade R-3) do not have the appropriate training and skills in how to teach these learners to be conversant in English by the end of Grade 3, so that they are able cope with subject content in Grade 4.
Since January 2020, ORT has been working with the schools’ Grade 1, 2 and 3 teachers as well as the pupils (120) in these classrooms. We intend to support these teachers by training them on how to teach pupils English in a natural and playful manner in context e.g. teaching children through stories, play and dramatic play, music, pictures etc. We have also placed interns as teaching assistants in these classrooms to assist teachers with their workload and classroom management.
This project will run over a three-year period and will specifically follow the current Grade 1 cohort until the end of their Grade 3 year.
With [some of the funding received from CHW's supporters in late 2019], we presented a LEGO training workshop to 35 ECD [Early Childhood Development] teachers on 15 February 2020. During the training workshops, teachers are given multiple opportunities to engage with new knowledge through application activities. Such repeated exposure to new content and methods promotes learning, as well as retention of what is learned. The training is offered as a hands-on workshop for participants to be equipped with practical ways to integrate the materials within their teaching curriculum.
Perceptual, Cognitive, Physical and Motor skills development are all covered in the initial 3- hour training. ORT SA CAPE offers follow-up support to the participants and will visit schools and classrooms in order to assist practitioners and teachers to promote the use of the resource in the classrooms.
Below is feedback received from two of the schools that have received training:
Wonderland Educare: "Thank you to ORT SA CAPE for an amazing morning of fun and learning, training teachers on Purposeful Play and LEGO Playbox. Thank you to the ORT team, Karen, Bev and Jade on an awesome training. Staff are highly motivated and can’t wait to show the children."’– Bev, Principal.
Sunningdale Preschool: "ORT SA CAPE's training on Saturday was a fantastic day for all our staff. So excited and fired up to implement. Can’t wait to see the excitement of the children. Truly inspired training with so many new ideas." - Vanessa Robson, Principal.
Well done to everyone at ORT SA CAPE for all that you are doing to support others during the lockdown.
A massive thank you to each person who helps ORT SA CAPE, through CHW. You are truly making a difference.
A February workshop for the Dunoon ECD Forum
Wonderland Educare teachers and the LEGO Playbox
Wonderland Educare teachers -a fine motor activity
Wonderland Educare teacher at a previous training
A February workshop for the Dunoon ECD Forum