Twenty-Twenty

Twenty-Twenty

The decade has arrived!  Do you remember way back when people would make predictions of what would be happening in 2020?  Some thought the world might no longer exist and prepared their exit.
Well, we are all still here amidst the chaos of global warming with 15 year old Gretha bringing 4 million protesters together on one day,  a potential war between the US & Iran with Donny at the helm while fighting his impeachment, Harry & Meghan tossing their crowns and rocking the royal family and the other equally wonderful and awful quirks of the world we all live in.  In our little corner we are just trying to get along, keep the lights on and hope Eskom can make some kind of magic turnaround, have water, keep our planes in the air and watch TV.  


The one thing we are good at, is finding the patch of blue in a seemingly grey sky.   Towards the end of last year a movement was started on FB called #ImStaying and it grew by thousands every day.  It seems that for the million plus South African people on the group, this is home.   While no one denies our serious problems like crime, corruption, unemployment and poverty to name a few, they are taking note of Ubuntu and the love and kindness the majority of South Africans’ display towards each other.    It has certainly made an impact on me personally and given me a deeper love for my fellow South Africans and a real curiosity about each other’s cultures and way of life.  The daily stories of every day kindness is just inspiring.
Limina has the privilege and responsibility of being part of the education sector and we all know this is where the greatest changes and impact is made.   We are excited for the year ahead as we continue to host existing courses and develop new courses.
Along with the other fast pace technological changes and apps out there, educational technology is just as exciting.  More so as the impact on teachers and in turn pupils, is huge.
When one looks at the matric results for 2019 you might think we are doing pretty well with our 81% pass rate.   Unfortunately like with all statistics, the numbers do not always show the true picture.   These matrics started grade 1 in 2008 full of hope and excitement and a natural love for learning all children have.  But due to many socio economic factors, less than half of these children matriculated.  In fact, only 42% did.  So where is the rest?   Of the 100 that start, 52 get to matric, 42 pass and 19 are eligible to go to university.  What happened to the remaining children?
The stats show us the biggest drop out rate happens between grade 10 and 12.   We have many reasons for this.  Although teenagers are allowed to remain in school during their pregnancy and return to school after their baby is born, many do not and their schooling ends there.   Some children are forced to work at age 16 due to socio economic circumstances and some choose to work.   Gangsterism remains a huge problem that affects mostly male scholars who drop out of school to make a living on the street.   For other children, they just don’t see the point of school.  It feels antiquated and boring and irrelevant.    

So how do we change that?  How do we keep kids in school and keep them engaged?  How do we ensure more kids who start grade 1 actually finish their journey and get to matric?  And enable more of them to qualify for tertiary education and actually study further?  

I don’t think there is one easy answer.  Or even ten but there is one WE can do.  We develop our teachers in all subjects ensuring literacy and numeracy is part of their lessons.  We show them how to access the exciting free edtech tools out there and how to use them and we ensure children are engaged and enjoying school and learning every day.   We grow this model and cover more and more teachers and schools so the grade 1 class of 2020 won’t have a whole bunch of their classmates not matriculating with them in 2038!

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