Centre offers struggling pupils a helping hand

Searidge Primary School Grade 6 pupils Desmorney van Niekerk, Lethonia Mert and Raeesha Samson finish some English digital worksheets.

Pupils battling to understand their school work or who want to improve their grades can register at an iLearning Centre in their area.

The non-profit centres offer tablets with audi-visual lessons loaded on them, which pupils from Grade 1 to 12 can watch and work through after school at a centre.

The lessons are designed by teachers from across South Africa, using the best educational content in the country, teaching English, home language and first additional language, mathematics or mathematics literacy, science or natural science and computer technology.

There are centres across the country, run by community volunteers.

Attendance at these centres costs R60 a month and pupils can attend as many classes as they like.

The centres are generally open after school throughout the year, except during school and public holidays. Some centres are open on Saturdays.

Cleona Diedericks, from Eastridge, said she enjoys attending classes to ensure she understands her work. “You can’t ask too many questions in class.”

She said she can pause the video, listen to explanations and work through worksheets.

Grade 10 pupil Robin Williams said he wants to improve on his academic results. “If I give it my best and put more hard work in, then I am sure I can confirm a few As,” he said.

Bradwin Sitzer, iLearning Western Cape regional officer, said iLearning Centres are operated by the Social Project, a registered non-profit organisation and public benefit organisation.

The Social Project, in turn, operates Social Drinks, which donates proceeds from coffee, juice and so forth sold at partner shops to feed hungry children. Patrons can buy coffee or a snack at a pop-up coffee cart and the proceeds are used to feed pupils a nutritious meal at the iLearning Centres.

The monthly fee of R60 at the centre helps cover overhead costs and contributes to a stipend for the centre manager.

Mr Sitzer said they are passionate about freeing South Africa from extreme poverty. “We believe the best way to do this is through education and empowering entrepreneurship,” he said.

There are three centres in Mitchell’s Plain:

Wolfgat Nature Reserve iLearning Centre at 22 Pyrenees Street, in Tafelsig, is open Monday to Thursday, from 4pm to 6pm, and on Saturday, from 9am to 1pm. For more information, call Andrew Koopman at 073 767 5844.

Ethel’s Place Youth Care Centre, 1 Civet Way, Eastridge, is open Monday to Thursday for Grades 1 to 3, from 2pm to 3.30pm; Grades 3 to 5 pupils attend from 3.30pm to 5pm; and Grades 8 to 12 from 5pm until 6.30pm. Friday is only for matriculants from 2pm until 5pm. Saturday from 9am until noon is for all grades. For more information, call Ashley Potts at 082 887 6440.

Rocklands High School, in Cedars Avenue, Rocklands, is open Monday to Thursday, from 2.30pm until 3.30pm. For more information, call Azizah Oostendorp at 072 623 3277.

Ocean View Secondary School, at 2 Hydra Avenue, is open Monday to Friday, from 3pm until 5pm. For more information, call Marius Waries at 076 039 8538.

For more information on the centre at Sentinel Primary School ,at Atlantic Skipper Road, in Hout Bay, email brad@socialproject.co.za

In Imizamo Yethu, at Oranjekloof Primary School, corner of Hughenden and Main roads in Tierboskloof, Hout Bay, is open from Monday to Friday, from 2.30pm to 3.30pm. For more information, call Charlie Williams at 060 725 7231.

RCG Khayelitsha, No. 34 Eyethu Shopping Mall in Khayelitsha, is open Monday to Friday from 4pm until 6pm. For more information, call Andiswa Tom at 072 032 8294.

Donors and companies that want to sponsor equipment needed to start an iLearning Centre can email mike@socialproject.co.za, call 021 791 1017 or visit their Facebook page: Social Project.

There are five iLearning pilot centres in Kraaifontein, which are partnered with the Western Cape Education Department. These centres operate in tandem with the schools, where they are based. For more information, email Bradwin Sitzer at brad@socialproject.co.za