Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

Mwabu Academy monitoring and observation visit

Wed, 14.06.2017
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Eighty-nine (yes, 89) learners jumping out of their seats, hands in the air, desperate to have a go at a Mwabu task. Huge grins on the faces of the chosen learner. With total engagement of the remaining 88, they actively participate by predicting answers; rousing cheers when their classmates are correct and good-natured groans when they are not.



The initial Mwabu product design workshops were hosted in October 2016, and, less than 8 months later, the Academy team was able to observe teachers effectively using a South African curriculum-aligned product for Grade 4 maths in classes of up to 80+ learners. 


Below, Mwabu Senior Educationalist Helen Radford shares some of the team's most enduring impressions from the recent monitoring and observation visit to the four schools that are part of the MRP Foundation Pilot project in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa:

"I think of Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi, who supervised 49 learners carrying their chairs to a computer lab where she had prepared an extra ‘whiteboard’ of paper stuck on the wall, and remained calm and continued to engage learners with questions when the wireless link from tablet to projector cut out.


I think of the astonishment of Mr Buthulezi, who only started teaching with the Mwabu units the previous week, as he told me that it was the first time all year he had seen one learner raise her hand, throughout the lesson, to answer.



I think of Mwabu Teacher Blogs contributor Njabulo Mdanda, who demonstrated active learning when he handed out a variety of measuring implements to his 50 learners and asked them, “thumbs up or thumbs down” as an instant visual assessment of where his learners were with their understanding.


I think of Zodwa Mthiyane, tentatively teaching a Mwabu maths unit during a training session in April; and I think of her now, confidently working through a unit where she had prepared resources, managed 49 learners working alone and in pairs, and actively consulted the tablet ‘teacher tips’."



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