The following is a postcard from Chi Nguyen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in South Africa, about her recent visit to Green Shoots Education Services.
On Valentine's Day, I was able to meet with Jo, Mark, and Wilbur from the Green Shoots Education Services team and was very much impressed with what they have achieved thus far. The online math program they have implemented in their partnering schools allows both teachers and students to receive immediate feedback, gifting them with the ability to assess, adjust, and reinforce or change current methods in teaching and learning.
I was able to witness this exact phenomenon during my visit, as I quietly observed a computer lab full of children. Dressed in pink, white, and red for Valentine's Day, these children stared intently at their computers, stopping here or there to jot down a few things in their notebooks for scratch paper. Wilbur walked around the room, monitoring each child's progress and what they jotted down in their notebooks to take note of their problem-solving methods - something that the computers cannot necessarily track - to better understand the mental processes the children go through so that he may provide a comprehensive evaluation to their teacher and so that he may better assist the teacher in his instructing methods. As I watched from the back of the room, a boy (top left, in the white shirt) suddenly pumped his fist in the air with a loud, "Yes!" and the biggest smile on his face. He had just completed a set of math exercises and had received positive feedback from the program - a good score, a score that he could be proud of, a score that gave him self-confidence and motivated him to do even better.
Since they are a technology-driven organization, Jo was able to pull up the child's scores on her tablet immediately and show them to me and I saw, indeed - he had achieved a near-perfect score.
Earlier on in the day, Jo and Mark were able to show me data tracking the improvements in passing math scores term over term, year over year, throughout every school they work with. With a number of schools improving as much as doubling or tripling their passing percentages, the numbers speak for themselves.
They have a very clear vision of what they are trying to achieve, and are a team of ex-teachers who are very well-organized, extremely passionate, highly intelligent, and strikingly well-meaning that deserves a significant amount of support from us, donors, and corporate partners! I would recommend this organization to my family and to corporate sponsors in a heartbeat.