The Bulungula Incubator iiTablet Tshomiz programme continues to grow! The programme started with an online Mathematics programme for one school which has grades 1-9. It has now grown to include an additional school which has grades 1-7. We have also added access to English online programmes for strengthening grammar, reading and conversational abilities. We now have a total of just under 1000 learners benefiting from both Mathematics and English. And the roll-out continues: the tablets needed for the learners at the third school in line are on their way. An additional improvement will be an experienced isiXhosa Language teacher to the team. Due to the weak foundations our learners face across all learning areas, they need assistance in cementing their home language. Proficiency in one’s home language directly affects the ability to succeed in a second language.
While our progress has been steady, it has not been without challenges! Telephone landlines are yet to reach the area (if they ever will) and cellphone networks are still not strong enough for easy (and cost-effective) internet access. We therefore have only satellite connectivity available for the programme. This has been quite an uphill climb to resolve but we seem to have it all under control now. Using online programmes continue to be the more powerful learning solution when customising ongoing learning programmes for individual learners. Off line solutions do not, as far as we have found, reach the same level of efficacy in teaching and learning.
Above: A lesson in action at Xhora Mouth Primary
All the school facilitators were unemployed youth in the area who have at least a Grade 11. This is what a few of them had to say when asked about iiTablet Tshomiz:
“We like being facilitators because we have learnt more about how to deal with learners. We enjoy helping them practice and answer questions through tablets.”
“iiTablet Tshomiz changed us because we learnt different strategies on how to get education through different programmes.”
A Grade 4 student was recently asked about how the enjoy working with the facilitators and iiTablet Tshomiz, this is what she had to say:
“I started iiTablet Tshomiz in Grade 3. Maths was difficult then, and we started with adding with blocks. I like it because when I started I couldn’t count, and now I can. I like the facilitators a lot because they teach me.”