Plant a seed, and by nurturing it and taking thorough care of its growth, it will soon blossom to the benefit of its larger environment. This is exactly what the Capitec Foundation did when investing in 2021 in the Palmridge Ext 6 Secondary School (PESS) in Katlehong as the first Capitec Foundation Blended Learning School.
The Capitec Foundation Trust operates as an independent, non-profit organisation under Capitec Corporate Social Responsibility.
Its focus is to empower South Africa’s youth to choose pure maths in grade 10 and create opportunities for them to have sustainable futures.
This entails the creation of whole school ecosystems at selected high schools that support a pure maths culture, through development of school leadership, maths teachers and learners. The programme is innovative, using modern teaching methods, supporting learners psychosocially and empowering them to study smarter.
Planting the seed at PESS in creating a Capitec Foundation Blended Learning School requires a hands-on commitment. After the first year of involvement an in-depth analysis was done to identify any gaps that needed more nurturing.
The outcome was enhanced input in the school’s technology hub, which was already created by the Capitec Foundation. Apart from providing the hard- and software, other resources were implemented, such as improved WiFi to make learning more accessible. There is also a stronger focus on the training of school leadership and teachers to take care of learners’ emotional, physical and learning needs.
To further improve learners’ concentration and learning abilities, a food programme to provide nourishment and creative programmes to encourage productive and resourceful work was established.
The result? An immediate improvement in learners maths marks and an increase in the uptake of pure maths as a school subject.
The positive input is enhanced by the support of Makhosonke Xaba, the school’s principal, as well as the school’s governing body, teachers and parents. From their feedback it is clear that the Capitec Foundation’s input into PESS also benefits the learners’ performance on the whole.
The grade 12s at Palmridge Ext 6 Secondary School produced some of the best results in Katlehong in the 2022 National Senior Certificate Examinations.
Benefitting the community
PESS recently had a new project in mind: to build a hall that could also be used by the wider community and not just learners. In the past, classes were used for matric examinations, while a hall could accommodate all the learners, creating a conducive space for examination.
The Capitec Foundation funded the hall, which will now be used as a school hall, indoor sport centre and an events hall. It’s a facility that will be standing for generations, adding value to the community for many years.
Being thoroughly involved in a blended school project, looking after the greater needs of the learners and their teachers, ultimately impacts the wider community positively.
As with planting a tree, it is a growing process. The Capitec Foundation is grateful to be able to make a real difference. Always developing, improving and changing lives for the better.