The Reading Eggs literacy programme for foundation phase pupils was launched by the Click Foundation, an NGO, at St Paul’s Primary School in Bo-Kaap on Thursday August 17.
Asper Ngwenya, Click Foundation regional operations coordinator, said the idea was to bring technology to the classroom. He said they decided to focus on the foundation phase so they could give children a strong start. The literacy programme is computer based.
“Our programmes are more like games, they are interactive and they are colourful. That’s part of what makes it more enjoyable for the pupils.
Click Foundation NGO started in 2012 and has now reached more than 30 000 pupils around the country. They work with early childhood development centres, after-care facilities and schools around Cape Town.
“Our main focus is on disadvantaged schools because we are also trying to improve their results. Most of the pupils at this school come from disadvantaged communities.”
He said that they have already worked a schools in Gugulethu, Heathfield, Manenberg, Lavender Hill and Dunoon.
Mr Ngwenya said part of the Click Foundation’s programme was to train teachers. “Whatever we want to do in a school, the teachers are at the forefront. They are the people who deal with the pupils every day. In this programme they can also check how their pupils are progressing. They can reinforce what is being taught is the classroom.”
He said the aim of the organisation was to reach as many pupils as they could and at the same time make a difference in the pupils’ lives. “What I like most about the programme is to see the happy faces of the pupils when they come and even to hear teachers saying that it is making a difference.”
One of the teachers at the school benefiting from the training, Elizabeth Madzore, said that she was excited for it to get under way.
“It’s going to improve the pupil’s listening skills. There are activities where they will click on a word and it is pronounced. So it will also improve their pronunciation. They can relate pictures to words and it can also improve their confidence. I think it is going to improve the children’s vocabulary. If the children’s confidence is boosted at ground level then it means when they go up to a higher grade they will carry on with that confidence.”
She said another important aspect of the programme was that it gave independence to the pupils. “They are put on the system and they can move on at their own pace. It makes them want to do more.”
Ms Madzore, who is a Grade 1 teacher, added she would encourage other schools, especially those in the townships, to take part in the programme.
“This will help the children’s confidence and give the child a reason for wanting to go to school. You won’t have a lot of drop outs.”
St Paul’s Primary Primary School principal, Yeye Mgudlwa, said she was looking forward to the programme being implemented at the school and she was sure it would make a difference.