The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
~ Eric Hoffer
An interactive diagram shows the Ukuqonda models of engagement and the programmes we engage in.
Field-workers visit schools. During school visits they engage in a variety of activities that are negotiated with the principal and the teaching staff, including support in developing teaching programs, curriculum interpretation, selections of learning materials and assessment. The teaching process is observed and help is offered with curriculum interpretation, methodology, pedagogy and assessment strategies.
Workshops for teachers on a school or cluster basis. These workshops focus mainly on two things, namely the development of teacher’s own content knowledge, attention to learner’s work and curriculum interpretation.
Selected educators (including subject advisors) with strong commitment are drafted into an intensive national programme of high-level development of mathematics and physical science educators. The purpose of this programme is to develop leadership capacity and hence sustainability into the system.
Both field workers (project staff) and teachers from the participating schools teach in the vacation schools. The vacation schools are intended to establish and grow a corps of high performers that may continue into higher education while also adding quality to the school experience of other learners.
The work is focused on conceptual engagement with critical concepts, and provide extensive opportunities for learners to engage in problem solving, investigations, experimental work and critical discourse with each other and with teachers. Special learning materials are utilised, and the participating teachers receive intensive training in the content addressed during the vacation schools, as well as the pedagogies utilised. In this way it is hoped that not only the learners who attend the vacation schools will benefit, but that the teachers who participate will acquire enhanced capacities and commitment for the work they do in their regular classes in schools.
On a limited scale, within the capacity and scope for the intervention, certain critical resources for learning in the form of both laboratory equipment and printed materials, are provided to the schools.
Based in Rustenburg, this has been going since 2004 and, as has been mentioned, has made a tremendous impact on the performance of the students involved – some of whom had been exposed to Ukuqonda while at school.
Based in Mooinooi, the programmes started off January 2012.
We have very recently started a mentoring programme for students who have completed the post-matric bridging programme.
We have also been approached by companies to provide academic support to their current university bursary students.