Lifeline for the Class of 2020
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Lifeline for the Class of 2020

15 October 2020

Matric learners have less than a month before the culmination of their 12-year schooling careers.

Described by Professor Ursula Hoadley, of UCT’s school of education as “the most consequential examination of their lives”, the 2020 Final Grade 12 exams are set to kick off on 5 November with English First Additional Language.

At her recent briefing on the developments in the Basic Education Sector, Minister Angie Motshekga said that the late start of the examinations was intended to allow as much time as possible to cover critical curriculum content.

Even with the late start, learners are struggling to cover the year’s curriculum in the short space of time they’ve had, which is why the eduCate #SavingTheClassOf2020 National Matric Math & Science Revision initiative has been oversubscribed since Primestars and YouthStart Foundation made the announcement of its launch, together with the Minister and private sector partners, in August.

The initiative has been a national drive challenging all members of society to play a part in #SavingTheClassOf2020 by providing financial and in-kind support to enable the organisers to accommodate more learners in need. The disruptions to the academic year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic have been devastating, and as a result of South Africa’s socio-economic challenges, the majority of Grade 12 learners in under-resourced public schools have missed out on almost half of their curriculum, because they did not have the wherewithal to access online learning during lockdown.

Since 13 September – thanks to sponsors including Sanlam, Sasria, Bidvest, Omnia, Cell C, Liberty, Standard Bank, PPS, WDB, GFC, Discovery, Ascendis Health, KPMG, BCW, Rohlig Grinrod, Shoprite, Dynamic DNA, Spar, Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, Fundi, SADC WIB – 17 cinema complexes, with 65 screening auditoriums have hosted thousands of eager matriculants on a weekly basis as they work through the full Math & Science curriculum in preparation for their exams. This has all been done with strict adherence to Covid-19 safety protocols.

Nozizwe Vundla, head of the Sanlam Foundation says that the focus of Sanlam Foundation’s Socio-Economic Development programme is education. “The Foundation does this by taking a holistic approach to school support, which includes literacy and numeracy, infrastructure development, leadership and learner support, whilst encouraging community involvement.

“The Sanlam Foundation prides itself for partnering with a range of impact-orientated NGOs that seek to support learners in quintile 1 – 3 public schools. It therefore became imperative that we partner with Primestars on the #SavingTheClassOf2020 initiative as part of our multi-pronged response to the impact Covid-19 has had on the education sector, especially to learners with limited access to online resources. The #SavingTheClassOf2020 does not only align with our strategy, but enables the learners that the Foundation has been supporting throughout the year, to achieve their educational outcomes. In this regard, we supported Primestars with a grant of R2,5 million towards this initiative that 20 000 learners will benefit from.”

Whilst Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga has been urging parents to send their learners back to school, the demand from schools to participate in the #SavingTheClassOf2020 revision sessions has remained overwhelming nationwide. Further, schools that could not be accommodated, due to limited programme funds, join a waiting list of over 500 schools nationwide, hoping to be accommodated.

It is for this reason that Primestars and YouthStart, with the support of their sponsors, have been working to launch new platforms to extend the reach and accessibility of the sought after #SavingTheClassOf2020 revision content, and are proud to make the following announcement.

From the month of October, new exam preparation resources will be made available by the #SavingTheClassOf2020 initiative to matriculants across the country - free of charge - through 5 touch points including:

  1. Cinema
  2. New in-school (screenings in rural schools)
  3. New online – visit savingtheclassof2020.ulearningsa.net to access free lessons
  4. New television (Woza Matrics) – our content will be available on Woza Matrics from 26 Oct
  5. New WhatsApp – From 12 October Free revision notes will be available for download

Matriculants can message “Hi” to 060 0703213 on WhatsApp and follow prompts for Primestars revision notes.

Tshepiso Chocho, People Management Executive at Sasria SOC Ltd highlighted the commitment of the Grade 12s saying, “It is also just as encouraging to see learners who are determined to have a better future and use opportunities that are presented to them. The Primestars initiative will significantly contribute to the much-needed skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in our country.”

These are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary responses and we are driving a movement of like-minded individuals and organisations that will step up and help to get our learners back to academic productivity – safely. We invite those that are able to support us to join our movement as Co-investors that will take learners on a journey from Schoolroom to Boardroom – we cannot do it alone.

Contact Primestars on 011 430 4740 or email projects@primestars.co.za to find out how you can get involved.

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