Catch-Up is currently raising funds to help carefully selected underprivileged schools revamp their dilapidated computer labs. Once the required funds have been raised, each school will have a properly functioning lab with 50 laptops, free Wi-fi access, free monthly data, free English and Mathematics learning applications and two dedicated computer lab facilitators. The laptops will also be properly insured.
We do this project in collaboration with The Click Foundation (www.clickfoundation.co.za), a large NGO operating across South Africa. The Click Foundation (TCF) has been operating since 2012 and already has over 50,000 learners (at over 130 schools) on their platform.
The crucial recipe for success in TCF’s model is that the school needs to adapt its weekly roster to allow each learner to spend two class periods per week in the lab during normal school time – under the guidance of dedicated and well-trained computer lab facilitators. Their English and Mathematics applications also allow each learner to follow an individual learning path, depending on each learner’s skill and progress. TCF then measures and reports backs to each school on the learners’ log-in times and results and can further highlight specific problem areas to the school for their teachers to focus on.
For Catch-Up this initiative is not only about implementing the TCF solution at each school. We have already agreed with TCF and with each school that we will be able to use the labs in the afternoons (during the week) as well as on Saturday mornings. Every school will still have a number of learners who are really struggling and who need extra help – which is our core focus area. We will expand our programme to use a combination of personal tutoring as well as computer-based learning applications to help these learners “catch up”. With the same number of volunteers, Catch-Up will then be able to help many more kids during the week and on Saturdays.
TCF imports the laptops in bulk at an attractive whole sale cost of roughly R3,000 per unit, and they donate 10 laptops per school. The school needs to raise funding to purchase the remaining 40 laptops, which means each school needs to raise R120,000.
Our model with the schools we are supporting is that the school should raise R20,000 from their own efforts, and that Catch-Up will then provide the outstanding R100,000.
The dream is for the “store room” at each school to be transformed as follows: