Tens of thousands of students in South Africa are not receiving a quality education due to poor teaching. Around 5,000 teachers in the country are underqualified or completely unqualified in their positions. While this is an improvement from the numbers reported in 2015, the amount is still perturbing. Education technology provider Mwabu is launching a Mwabu teaching academy to train teachers how to better educate their students.
This initiative is important in that educating future generations well can help break the cycle of poverty in poor areas, and good education starts with good teachers. Along with providing interactive learning technology and lesson plans to primary schools, Mwabu has established a teaching academy to offer teachers a chance to learn and enrich their teaching styles. This is done through online training, access to resources and observational visits.
Teachers will have access to resources such as interactive lesson plans, teaching tips, management tools and reporting dashboards. They will be provided with the correct answers to practice questions, allowing them to focus on their teaching of the question rather than finding the right answer. The program also tells teachers the proper amount of time that should be taken to answer each question.
Mwabu established its hub in Rosebank, Johannesburg in June this year. They have since reached 180,000 primary school students. Mwabu has partnered with local electronics manufacturer Onyx Connect to produce tablets for their program. This partnership has decreased the price of the tablets.
Mwabu has launched a home version of their software in Zambia, and the company hopes to introduce it in South Africa as well. The home version works to improve the educational skills of parents so they can help their children with homework and support. Tablets can be used at home, where parents can perform revisions and tests and read with their children.
A study done in the schools using Mwabu’s training in Zambia have shown that 50 percent of Mwabu-trained teachers use songs, games or stories, while only 25 percent of non-Mwabu teachers do. Similarly, 40 percent of Mwabu teachers ask their students follow-up questions when they give a right answer, while no non-Mwabu teachers do. This research shows how the Mwabu teaching academy trains teachers to use engaging, student-centered lessons.
With the Mwabu teaching academy, teachers will be a part of a network of other teachers and educators who strive toward better educational practices. Teachers will be better equipped to educate their pupils, building up a learned and qualified future generation.
– Hannah Kaiser