Shikaya is a non-profit civil society organisation that recognises the crucial role that teachers can play in deepening and strengthening South Africa’s democracy. As such, Shikaya supports the personal and professional development of teachers to create a South Africa in which young people in schools are inspired and supported to become responsible citizens and future leaders in our democracy, valuing diversity, human rights and peace.
SHIKAYA AND THE NUMBERSENSE MATHEMATICS PROGRAMME
Shikaya has partnered with Brombacher and Associates to provide in-class mathematics training to Foundation Phase teachers in schools across South Africa. As part of the project, NumberSense Workbooks are supplied to every Grade 1, 2 and 3 child in each school. Teacher support and training are provided alongside the distribution of the workbooks so that the workbooks are used in the best possible way. The mathematics teacher training project started in 2014 with 3 schools in the Central District in Cape Town and has rapidly grown to 12 schools: 8 in Cape Town, 2 in East London and 2 in Port Elizabeth. Key similarities between the project schools are that they are situated in low socio-economic areas and have teachers that are eager to learn. Each Grade 1, 2 and 3 teacher is visited weekly in their classroom by a project worker who coaches the teacher towards improving their mathematics teaching.
Brombacher and Associates look forward to a continued positive relationship with Shikaya and trust that their combined efforts will help to improve the standard of mathematics education in the Foundation Phase across South Africa.
JumpStart is an NPO with a background in youth development programmes. Their name, 'JumpStart', and credo – ‘Thinking it forward’, encompasses all that they do in order to give those less-privileged a decisive 'jump-start' through three essential keys to development - education, qualification and employment. Since 2002 it has run youth education, skills development and social entrepreneurial initiatives to sustainably empower South African youth. With origins in the ICT sector, the programme grew into an industry-accredited learning and employment programme that is known today as the JumpStart Software Labs.
Two key factors have had a dramatic effect on the success of the JumpStart Software Labs:
- The first came from the learners themselves. From early on a culture of “Think It Forward” began to develop within the JumpStart Labs. Previous learners gave of their own time and new-found expertise to jump-start their peers and new recruits. This fostered a mentorship relationship amongst the learners which continues to this day.
- The second significant factor was the close partnership with private companies. The number of software engineers in South Africa is limited and the opportunity exists to grow this capacity with local resourcing. The JumpStart Engagement Model, a commercial service offering to the local economy, was initiated to fill the gap. Under private company mentorship, the learners took to the market with their new-found careers to deliver on real-world software solutions.
More recently, JumpStart has extended its programme into schools in the South African townships of Diepsloot, Eldorado Park and Soweto and in the Underberg region of KZN. The emphasis here is on educational interventions to address the pre-requisite foundations in Numeracy and Computer Science. JumpStart then partnered with Aarnout Brombacher of Brombacher and Associates in using the NumberSense Mathematics Programme to address the area of numeracy.
JUMPSTART AND THE NUMBERSENSE MATHEMATICS PROGRAMME
JumpStart has adopted the NumberSense Mathematics Programme as a vehicle for making a difference in the mathematical experiences of children in schools supported by JumpStart. Schools are supplied with workbooks for the children, appropriate training for the teachers and year-round, in-class and in-school support by a team of appropriately qualified and trained interns. We call these interns the 'JumpStart Tutors'. The tutor is there to support the teachers in the NumberSense Mathematics Programme and to provide on-the-ground, quality assurance of the programme’s success. The tutors are often unemployed matriculants and JumpStarts aims to help develop their academic and career aspirations while they intern at JumpStart schools. In addition to the workbooks, training and support, the JumpMedia Labs and JumpStart Software Labs have partnered with Brombacher and Associates to develop both video and software support for the programme. This support will enable the programme to scale effectively.
The video materials will consist of short vignettes that deal with topics such as the importance of the development of number sense and the implementation of the NumberSense Mathematics Programme. These videos will offer support on how to use the workbooks effectively and discuss the role of the different features of the workbooks. Software that is currently being developed will assist the project manager to monitor the progress of the children in their workbooks at all schools and in so doing enable the project to deliver workbooks on a just-in-time basis to children as they finish one workbook and need the next. Other software applications include management of annual testing and monitoring of progress suites. As connectivity in rural schools is not always possible, the NumberSense Mathematics Programme applications are made accessible via mobile tablet and iPad, enabling teachers and field workers to capture the information on site with immediate remote access and reporting.
Enlighten Education Trust
The Enlighten Education Trust was founded in 2002 to encourage and support the transformation of education and of life in the schools and communities situated in the Overstrand, Western Cape.
Enlighten responds to the needs identified by schools and communities themselves, whether these are based on curriculum and management, teaching and learning or parental and community participation and involvement. Their experience has been that the quality of education, in general, will not improve unless the problems in education are tackled from a variety of angles. For this reason, Enlighten Education Trust intervenes in schools from management, curriculum, youth and social perspectives. Enlighten Education Trust has achieved enormous credibility with schools, the WCED, educational stakeholders as well as the local communities.
ENLIGHTEN AND THE NUMBERSENSE MATHEMATICS PROGRAMME
One of the support areas of the Enlighten Education trust is curriculum support. In 2010, Brombacher and Associates (the creators of the NumberSense Mathematics Programme) started their partnership with the Enlighten Education Trust in order to support and improve mathematics education in the Foundation Phase.
NumberSense Workbooks were supplied to every Grade 1–3 child in eleven schools in the Overstrand district each year until the end of 2014. Teacher support and training was provided alongside the distribution of the workbooks so that the workbooks were used in the best possible way. Looking back, there is a record of in-class support, lesson demonstration, teacher training and continued encouragement for these schools. Looking forward, many schools now purchase the NumberSense Workbooks themselves and the teachers are using the skills they acquired through the teacher support and training.
In addition to the relationship with schools in the Overberg District, Enlighten Education Trust was instrumental in starting a similar programme in three schools in the Metro South district in Cape Town in April 2014. These schools are situated in low socio-economic areas and the team has provided in-class teaching support as well as NumberSense Workbooks to all the Grade 1–3 children at the schools. Although the project was taken over by Shikaya in April 2015, Enlighten’s initiative to start the project has not been forgotten. Brombacher and Associates are looking forward to a continued positive relationship with the Enlighten Education Trust and trusts that their combined efforts will help to improve the standard of mathematics education in the Foundation Phase.