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March 10, 2016 / by Gina Sulprizio /

Siyavula and IkamvaYouth join forces

Siyavula is proud to announce that we have begun a pilot project with IkamvaYouth through sponsorship from the Capitec Foundation.

IkamvaYouth is an after-school tutoring organisation to support high school learners from disadvantaged communities. The tutoring model employed by the organisation draws from a large and growing pool of volunteers made up of students (from nearby universities) and local professionals. Learners from selected schools in the area apply to the program; to maintain membership, learners must maintain a high level of attendance.

A data-driven e-Learning Pilot

In this year’s pilot, learners from two IkamvaYouth centres, Mamelodi in Gauteng and Nyanga in the Western Cape, have been given access to Intelligent Practice. Each grade (9, 10, and 11) of IkamvaYouth learners are allocated a specific day of the week in the computer lab where they will use Intelligent Practice to work on their maths and science. At each of the centres, two tutors will specifically be running these sessions and receive additional support and training from Siyavula.

The structured environment during the computer laboratory sessions will help provide learners with a supportive environment to start using Intelligent Practice on a regular basis. However, as we have built our product as a software as a service, accessible over even the most basic feature phone, we anticipate IkamvaYouth learners will also be able to take advantage of the service outside of the laboratory, namely for:

  • individual, regular practice, either as additional homework or self-directed revision on a mobile phone
  • group practice where learners can draw on the benefits of peer-to-peer instruction or collaborative learning, which is particularly useful where learners want to study together and use the service but each learner may not have access to their own device.

Over and above helping to improve the effectiveness of the time learners spend on mathematics and science homework, revision and practice, the potential benefit of this pilot is to also test and draw on the data analytics insights for tutors. The selected tutors at each of the centres have been give “teacher status” for their sessions so that they can access the Teacher’s Dashboard and start to monitor and reflect on the sessions they are running with their learners, enabling them to be more efficient and possibly servicing a larger pool of learners through technology over time. The data that we collect will also be valuable to the IkamvaYouth Head Office by providing real-time information about the mathematics and science learning, activities and progress of their learners at the different centres.

Kick starting the project

After initial observations of how tutoring sessions are generally run at IkamvaYouth and discussions with the centre branch managers towards the end of 2015, Siyavula’s School Liaisons Mbali Mazibuko and Luyanda Makoba visited both centres in the last week to kick off the pilot. This involved introductions to Intelligent Practice and the idea of active learning through practising for mastery, training the IkamvaYouth tutors, and then helping get IkamvaYouth learners signed up and ready to practice. Our School Liaisons provide an incredible service and form the direct link between Siyavula and the schools, teachers and learners that we support.

Going forward

We are looking forward to not only making a positive impact in the learners’ maths and science education, but also to learning more about how Intelligent Practice can be successfully used in lower-income, after-school tutoring settings. We believe in the power of collaboration and partnership and this pilot is one way for us to investigate and demonstrate the use of Intelligent Practice driven by an implementation partner, to extend both organisations’ reach and impact on education in South Africa. For more information on some of our parterned work, see here.

Watch this space for more updates; we will make sure to keep you posted!

Special thanks to the Capitec Foundation for their sponsorship to make this pilot project possible.