Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of out-of-school children in South Africa has tripled from 250 000 to 750 000. While the state of education in South Africa has always been woefully inadequate, this significant spike in truancy can be primarily attributed to the multiple lockdowns and the protracted school closures that accompanied the pandemic.

“COVID-19’s impact on education has widened disparities and deepened inequity. When the world fails to educate its children, we all suffer. Children from the poorest households, children who head households, those with disabilities, and other marginalized groups are falling further behind their peers in their learning as a result,” says Bafana Mohale, Education Programme Manager. 

To shrink this education gap, every year close to 300 students from grades 4 – 10 enrol in Rays of Hope’s programme that aims to bolster proficiency in English and Maths, as these are considered foundational subjects. Known as “ RoseAct Saturday School” and operating out of Pholosho Secondary School in Alexandra, this programme is run by an army of volunteers, some of whom are RoseAct alumni. For the first time in 2023, the plan is to include classes in Physical Science, Accounting, Economics, etc., for Grades 10 and 11, over and above the English and Maths.

One of those tutors is Eva Noble, a Lead Senior Program Manager by trade, who teaches mathematics every Saturday. Eva’s journey with RoseAct started 12 years ago when she was contacted by a colleague, who needed assistance co-tutoring grade 10 mathematics. Since then, Eva has formed an integral part of our programme and now tutors grade 4s. At that age, children are being introduced to critical math concepts like fractions, decimals, and basic geometry and she felt that pivoting to helping students at this stage of their schooling careers is where she could make the most difference.

The impact of the programme can be seen in the countless students who are now flourishing in subjects they used to be failing in. Some even shoot to the top of their class. Much of this is due to the tireless efforts of our volunteer tutors. The impact they make on a single student, ripples beyond that learner and can benefit the future of their family as well. 

Eva says, “People need to understand when you are in a class of 60 other children, the few that get left behind are not stupid, they just need a little bit of time and guidance. We need to help them learn the basics so that they can build upon those skills.” 

Lerato Litlhakanyane, Transactions Manager at Fortress REIT Limited, represents the pinnacle of some of the teaching talent we have in our RoseAct tutor pool with strong skills in mathematics, leadership, strategy and creating shared purpose.  

With over 78% of grade 4 children being unable to read for comprehension in any language, Lerato believes that the RoseAct programme is a fundamental resource for children in townships. It helps them develop the basic literacy and mathematics skills that will help them navigate the schooling environment and broaden their understanding of the world around them. These skills can then be used to make sense of what they see, hear, and read, which aids their cognitive development. 

By joining Eva, Lerato and a handful of tutors in the 2023 academic year, you can change the lives of students in Alexandra one Saturday at a time. 

Criteria to volunteer as a tutor include:

  • A grade 12 qualification (University student/graduate preferred) 
  • Must be available at least two Saturdays per month
  • Ability to write and speak English 
  • If you can tutor in other Matric subjects, such as Physical Science, Economics, Business Studies, Accounting, etc. then let us know

For more information or to volunteer, please email Maite for more information or Whatsapp / call 063 785 6020