5th September 2022
Creating the future: Incubating digital learning facilitators in rural South Africa
A unique partnership between Edulution, Sesego Foundation, the Rural Directorate at the DBE and the Jobs Fund to pioneer an emerging job class with exciting prospects for mass absorption of youth talent
We are delighted to announce that the Sešego Foundation and our implementing partner, Edulution South Africa, have been awarded significant funding through the National Pathway Management Network Innovation Fund – a component of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention’s (PYEI) National Pathway Management Network (NPMN).
The Department of Employment and Labour is responsible for the National Pathway Management Network, the Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) is the appointed Fund Manager, and the Jobs Fund provides implementation capacity for the Presidential Youth Employment Fund.
Operating on Challenge Fund principles, the NPMN Innovation Fund is highly selective and the vetting process extremely rigorous, validating our capacity to implement a complex project in dynamic environments. One of the conditions of being funded is pre-existing support from other entities – hence our existing core funders have been instrumental in catalysing this government investment.
This grant initiative seeks to identify and support innovative solutions to barriers faced by young people to meaningfully participate in the labour market and the wider economy. South Africa has the single highest rate of youth unemployment globally, with 60% of adults between 18 and 32 neither in employment or study. A substantial reason for this is the inadequate education received.
Sešego and Edulution will focus on tackling youth unemployment, poor educational outcomes, and COVID-linked learning regression with the Jobs Fund’s support. Our work addresses youth skills enrichment needs and the educational needs of thousands of young learners whose future economic prospects are highly correlated with retaining and mastering mathematics.
Hailing this award, the founder of Edulution, Michael Wray, noted, “The Jobs Fund was particularly interested in our capacity to prepare youth for highly complex roles as e-learning facilitators in the emerging digital economy. Such skills will increasingly be in high demand, and these initial Edulution cohorts may well become the trainers and catalysts for future generations.”
He went on to say, “Our coaches are trained to master the essential practical skills for enabling digital technology in the classroom to achieve transformative learning outcomes. As such, we deliver on the promises of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and are in a unique position – given our experience and relationship with the Department of Basic Education – to scale upwards in meeting the growing demand for technology-enabled facilitated learning in South African schools. Coaches progress at Edulution into junior management roles, specialist functions like IT support and development, coach trainer; and outside of Edulution, coaches are ideally suited to progress into professions such as teaching, facilitation, hardware support and youth work. The Edulution coach role is an extraordinarily effective gateway to high quality and complex roles that are increasingly in high demand in the economy.”
“This is our first partnership with a public sector entity. We are both humbled and inspired by the government’s support of our vision,” said Annemarie Mostert, CEO of Sešego. “We salute the power of partnership evidenced by the Jobs Fund’s visionary support of this project and look forward to delivering substantial value for our learners, coaches, co-sponsors, and the nation.”
At the time of writing, Edulution is providing skills development and employment to 34 previously unemployed youth in Mpumalanga. As coaches they have provided over 90,000 hours of facilitated digitised learning to 2688 Grade 4 – 6 learners at 9 primary schools in the Ehlanzeni district of Mpumalanga. An additional 5 schools are expected to join the program in Term 3 2022. Supporting these coaches from an office at the Penreach Foundation in Mbombela is a Program Manager and an Office Manager. Since project inception in this area in March 2022, 26% of learners have graduated from one of Edulution’s mathematics courses, which is significant progress given that only 3% of learners have an understanding of mathematics aligned to their Grade level.
About Sešego Foundation
The Sešego Foundation was established 15 years ago. Its mission is to get personally involved in making a sustainable contribution to the wellbeing of the Southern African Communities. Over the years, Sešego has focused on education, entrepreneurship and health as key elements of disrupting poverty and unemployment. We also believe in tapping into the spirit of volunteerism by mobilising like-minded people who have a strong conviction that collective action can bring about sustainable change. Through a host of different projects, this has enabled us to touch the lives of over 1,4 million people. For more information please visit www.sesegofoundation.org
Edulution provides numeracy ‘Catch Up’ Program to primary school Learners at Edulution Centres that operate within local public schools. Using a combination of technology, world-class content, face-to-face coaching, and a continuous performance measurement system, Edulution’s Program enables Learners to gain core numeracy and ICT skills. The model requires active engagement, self-paced learning, and concept mastery. Learners are guided and supported by economically incentivised Coaches who facilitate peer-to-peer learning. For more information please visit www.edulution.org.
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