Where we work
Mitchells Plain, Cape Town
We focus on serving Grade 2 and 3s in Mitchells Plain. Mitchells Plain has a population of 310,000 with a racial breakdown of 91% Coloured, 7% Black and 2% Other (Asian and White), although many of the schools serve residents from neighbouring Khayelitsha so the school demographics show a much higher Black percentage. The 3 dominant home languages are English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. The gender mix is roughly equally split.
Why Mitchells Plain? It is a disadvantaged community given its oppressive history and current socio-economic burdens, namely high unemployment (>50%), low income (average monthly income <R2,000), high levels of violent crime and drug abuse. In terms of education, 74% of adults have not completed high school and while high school pass rates are good, this ignores the extremely high dropout rate and the low quality passes attained leading to very low university attendance. We have existing working relationships with the district education department and many school principals which greatly facilitates our work.
Why Grade 2 and 3s? We have selected these grades since this is the key preparation years for the government’s national assessments for literacy and numeracy which takes place in Grade 3.
Mitchells Plain has 47 primary schools with roughly 190 Grade 2 classes and 190 Grade 3 classes serving 14,000 children.
We also focus on serving Grade 3 and 4s in Soweto – a township south of Johannesburg. Soweto has a population of approximately 1.3 million. The racial breakdown is 98.5% Black, 1% Coloured, 0.1% Indian and Asian, 0.1% White and 0.2% Other. There is a diversity of languages spoken, with the dominant language being Zulu (40.87 %), followed by Sotho (18.32 %). The gender split is 50% female 50% male.
Why Soweto? This is an area with major socio-economic difficulties and many Quintile 1,2 and 3 schools, which are the poorest schools where learners cannot afford to pay any fees. Some parts of Soweto rank amongst the most impoverished areas in Johannesburg.
Why Grade 3 and 4s? We have selected these grades since this is the key preparation years for the government’s national assessments for literacy and numeracy which takes place in Grade 3. Most learners are only taught English from Grade 3.
We focus on 30 primary schools in Soweto (mainly in Naledi) with roughly 40 Grade 3 and 40 Grade 4 classes serving 1,600 children.
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