MTO: Edunova Initiative
Location: Eastern Cape, Tsitsikamma area
Project duration: 2019 – ongoing
External Stakeholders: Edunova and YES programme, Department of Basic Education
Project objectives: Empowering learners through Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) skills.
Project deliverables: The provision of ICT skills to 120 teachers and 45 teaching assistant recruits, who have transferred this knowledge to over 1 000 learners at eight Tsitsikamma Primary Schools.
In 2019, MTO partnered with a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Edunova, in offering training to members of the school management teams at eight Tsitsikamma primary schools. Edunova trains teachers in Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) skills. The teachers in turn use the skills in the classroom when they interact with the learners, thus empowering them to use technology and improve their performance. Since the beginning of the programme 120 teachers have been trained and more than 1 000 learners have benefitted.
In 2020 the programme attracted funding from another partner, the YES programme, which is a joint initiative by the private sector and government. It signifies huge progress towards assisting South Africa’s youth to gain work experience through employment placement. The funding enabled us to recruit eight young people from the Tsitsikamma communities who were deployed to the eight schools. They were trained in ICT skills to support the teachers and the learners after school. The young people followed a 12-month skills programme with a strong focus on mentoring, care and growth, along with an in-school educational work experience. Four out of the eight Youth have received permanent job offers and others have been inspired to further their education.
In 2021, an additional 45 young people have been recruited into the programme, which means 53 job opportunities have been created for the unemployed youth of Tsitsikamma over two years. We are proud to be part of a programme that benefits the development of young people in the communities around our operations, especially given the fact that Youth unemployment is a global challenge that has been increasing over the past few years. It is our intention, in partnership with Edunova, to attract more partners to sustain this programme and build on the successes. Future plans involve the establishment of a learning centre that will also upskill parents in technology to enable them to support learners when they get home after school.
“When they tell you about the psychology – how you act, how you should be, how to communicate clearly. Also, just how to carry yourself (although that’s still a work in progress!).
One of the things we do is help the teachers – they are so used to a paper-based system – what we do is we find out what their lesson plan is for the day and we help them set it up digitally. What’s great is we see how that makes them happy because they feel like they’re now moving with the times.”
- Rhonwen Boesak
“Most of the children didn’t even know how to handle a mouse at first. They didn’t know what is a keyboard, or a USB stick. Most of the children know how to use a keyboard now – Word, Powerpoint, Excel. They really loved Scratch and coding. It’s been a wonderful journey for me so far and I’ve learnt a lot. My life has changed – I’ve started to see how I could become a professional. The schoolchildren have started to call me “Meneer” – it’s like I respect myself now, and they respect me. This has opened big opportunities for me.”
- Enver van Rooyen
“During this time we’ve learnt a lot - skills we never even knew existed – emotional intelligence, project management, how to communicate - so much more than just the computer programmes. For me, it’s that I have developed, to the extent that I can make good choices. It has changed my mind set.”
- Danillo Jacobs
“I think for me, it’s that – it’s changing our mindsets, but also the mindset of the children in
the community. The programme has had a huge impact – first on me, then the children and teachers we work with.”
- Kevin May
“To be honest, technology and I were never comfortable together. For me, teaching is my thing – that’s what I’m passionate about and this programme gave me the opportunity to experience that. And it was an extra boost was when some of the teachers encouraged me to apply for teaching.”
- Marcha Uithaler
“You know, Marcha’s remark, technology wasn’t my friend – I’m thinking, how many people in our community feel the same? How many children are scared to come and sit in front of a computer? This programme comes and breaks that fear away, piece by piece. These kids know how to left-click, right-click, double-click, how to make and save their folders and documents. It’s the satisfaction that I have of knowing I contributed – I helped make a difference to a child, to a person.”
- Danillo Jacobs