Poor foundational skills in English and Math are among the greatest barriers to future educational and employment opportunities for youth living in South African townships like Gugulethu. In response to these barriers, EwB offers the following programs:
English & Math Programs
Fezeka After-School Math Program
In 2009, EwB began an after-school math tutoring program. The program model is based on the principle of small group learning with trained tutors (university student volunteers) in a 1:5 ratio (ideally). The tutors are monitored by a Head Tutor, Esther Sikwela, and trained by Math Curriculum Advisor, Jenny Farrow.
Since its inception, the program has used a series of workbooks, ‘The Language of Mathematics’, designed and authored by Dr. Rahael Jalan. In 2015/16, the decision was made to use the workbooks in a way that the material being taught was congruent with the grade appropriate school syllabus. As such, the program curriculum is carefully chosen for learners. Evaluation involves tests (ANA and school exams).
The program runs twice a week (Fridays and Saturdays). Holiday camps are offered three times a year to reinforce concepts learned.
Currently, EwB is teaching 20 Grade 8 learners, ten Grade 9’s and ten Grade 10’s.
Mseki After-School Math Program
In 2015/16, the JumpMath (Canada) curriculum was introduced to Grades 4-7 at Mseki Primary. The program runs weekly (Tuesday to Friday).
The program applies the small group (1:5) after-school learning model. Program tutors are university students and Grade 11 Fezeka learners who are graduates of the EwB program. The tutors are monitored by a Head Tutor, Esther Sikwela, and trained by Math Curriculum Advisor, Jenny Farrow.
A total of 160 learners currently benefit from this program.
Fezeka In-School Math Program
In 2016, Math Curriculum Advisor, Jenny Farrow, began teaching Math to two Grade 8 classes on a Friday. Jenny uses small group learning techniques with the Fezeka teacher present during the lessons. This approach offers dual benefits – enhanced learning for learners and skills enhancement opportunities for teachers.
Fezeka After-School English Program
Since 2014, EwB has offered after-school English classes on Saturday’s to 40 learners in Grades 8-10. The classes are facilitated by university student volunteers who are encouraged to provide fun-filled opportunities for the Fezeka learners to improve their comprehension, verbal and writing skills.
Stacy Lloyd (a former Western Cape English teacher) has compiled a 40-week lesson plan that provides the tutors and learners with learning material. The classes are monitored by Head Tutor, Esther Sikwela, and English Curriculum Advisor, Jenny Farrow.
In 2015/16, EwB introduced three new programs to complement its existing program offerings:
Mseki Foundation Phase Pilot Literacy Program
The Mseki Foundation Phase Pilot Literacy Program began in Fall 2015. The goal was to promote early childhood literacy and enliven Grades 1 and 3 lessons at Mseki Primary School.
The program, which continues to be active, is conducted weekly during school hours. The approach involves a 6-week demonstration of the teaching methodology in English and isiXhosa by Nokuthula Dyonase (Thuli), Head Tutor, with the Mseki Language teachers present in the classroom.
The program offers:
- Literacy materials in isiXhosa for emergent home language literacy in Grade 1
- African Storybook Project stories in English for emergent English in Grade 3
Methodological help to teachers, including a repertoire of activities that could be used to facilitate learning in an environment challenged by large class sizes and no digital access. Role playing and ‘wall reading’ are among the activities used to make learning fun and successful.
In 2016, the program was expanded to include Grades 2, 4 and 5, allowing a greater impact in early learning years. Over 300 learners have benefited from this program to date.
Mseki Special English Pilot Program
Despite government policy, the home language, isiXhosa, is the language used in the classroom. To engage learners in practicing English during class hours, the Mseki Special English Pilot Program began in Fall 2015 for Grades 6 and 7. The pilot program continued into 2016.
Program highlights include:
- Program content featuring youth fiction, reading (both aloud and silently), and numerous oral and written activation activities
- A professional development component that offers informal skills transfer, particularly related to teaching large classes
Material for class use comes from the African Storybook Project, VulaBula and N’ali Bali, with the final curriculum designed by Ingrid Schechter (Canadian Linguistics and ESL teacher).
To date, over 80 learners in Grades 6 and 7 have benefited from fun fiction reading, discussion, role-playing and writing activities that have improved their English.
Fezeka Science Program
In 2016, EwB introduced a weekly after-school Science program for students at Fezeka Senior Secondary. The program is based on a peer-to-peer tutoring model where Grade 12 Science students from Wynberg Boys High School come to Fezeka Senior Secondary and spend an hour and half tutoring ten Grade 11 EwB graduates in their Science curriculum. The tutors are accompanied by a Wynberg Science teacher, Christof Goosen.
Other programs supported by EwB include the Fezeka Choir, the Zama Dance School and Greg Hillyard’s Grade 11 Photography Program.