Ukhanyo School’s ‘English Lab’

MASICORP has committed volunteers and resources to improving the quality of education at Masiphumelele’s Ukhanyo Primary School, but one of the biggest hurdles that the school faces is the low level of English literacy and fluency among teachers and students.

To help address this problem, MASICORP opened the ‘English Lab’ at Ukhanyo Primary School in January 2012. The project is led by an American volunteer Jan O’Connor and her able assistant, Zimkhita Kapaayi.  Modeled after our successful ‘Science Lab’, the English Lab focuses on providing teachers at Ukhanyo with the skills and resources that they need in order to teach English effectively.

In its initial phase, the project has concentrated on teachers from grades 1-3. The level of participation has been overwhelming. Teachers are embracing the easy-to-implement lesson plans and the opportunity to practice effective teaching strategies in a supportive environment.

Jan had initially hoped to “recruit” a group of 10 teachers willing to put in the time and effort to work on improving their English teaching skills, but within six weeks of the opening, 22 Grade 1-4 teachers were using the English Lab on a weekly basis and teachers of the intermediate grades were clamouring for an opportunity to use the facility.

Set up with generous support from MASICORP donors in the UK,  the English Lab provides the resources and materials that teachers need to teach competently in the classroom. In addition, the Lab serves as a place where Ukhanyo educators can share effective teaching strategies and techniques across the curriculum.

Teaching in the 'Englsh Lab'

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About masicorpblog

MASICORP provides funding for education, and investment in enterprise so that the people of Masiphumelele - a township near Cape Town in South Africa - can escape from poverty. Mission MASICORP has over 12 years’ experience working in the township. Our approach has been to ask the community where and how they need support and, from this, we know the residents want a hand-up not a handout. We know that they see education as the route out of poverty. We know they will work hard to achieve success – and we see their hard work every day in our education projects and programs. Education is what we do: we built a library and education resource centre where over 20 programs are available free to residents; we have an important project to help improve education in the 30+ township crèches; we have a highly successful university bursary program and we work with and in the township’s primary and high schools. Our education programs extend to business enterprise, where we train and develop budding entrepreneurs, and provide training to help people find jobs. Description In Masiphumelele most people live in shacks. Six families or more share one water tap and toilet facility. Roughly 70% have no regular work.Even for those with work, incomes are very low and many manage on less than $2/day for food. The township suffers from poverty-related health issues: more than 20 % of residents are HIV/AIDS positive and the number of tuberculosis victims has increased in recent years. Life expectancy is under 50 years. Some might say there is little hope but, fortunately, these people have plenty of spirit, dignity and determination.

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