Discover more about the Capitec Foundation education initiative that’s improving the quality of our teachers and learning.

As part of Capitec’s ongoing commitment to improve numeracy and financial literacy across South Africa, the Capitec Foundation recently hosted a math tutor event at Palmridge Ext. 6 Secondary School in Gauteng.

“The Maths Tutor Program is an afterschool program which we’ve developed as a way of assisting high school learners who have the potential of doing better in mathematics, while also helping to develop future teachers by recruiting university education students and then training them up to tutor learners in schools in provinces where we are present,” comments Neptal Khoza, Head of Corporate Social Investment at Capitec.

Established in June 2015 as an independent, non-profit organisation to manage Capitec’s corporate social investment initiatives, the Foundation places a special focus on maximising the potential of our youth and the sustainability of their future by assisting in the development of math education.

Mischkha Naicker, Learning Programs Manager at Capitec Foundation explains, “The program has multiple outcomes. The first is for us to develop future teachers, and that is the reason why we are utilising students that are studying to be math teachers so that when they enter the profession, they have a better chance of succeeding in the first and second year of teaching in the real world.”

She adds, “The second outcome is to help develop learners so that when they eventually reach grade 10, they opt for maths as a pure subject as opposed to maths literacy. When they pass matric, they will have entrance into university and they will have better opportunities in terms of career options.”

The Insider SA had the honour of speaking to one of the graduates who benefited from the programme’s mentorship and skills training in the Western Cape, Hopolang Lekhetha.

“The program helped me a lot in teaching me certain skills, but most importantly about mentorship and how to teach in small groups,” shares Hopolang Lekhetha.

He attributes his love for maths and science to his own Life Sciences teacher.
“I think he was a very, very important role model in how he conducted himself, how he presented his lessons and how he presented the profession generally. So I think he is the one that really ignited my love for science and mathematics,” states Hopolang, who’s now an educator at Curro Delft.

Curro Delft is an innovative and technologically advanced high school that focuses on the teaching of mathematics, science, robotics, and coding – which is believed to be the critical skills that the kids would need going forward.

“My teaching philosophy is one that is one with the learners. So I’m not necessarily teaching them, but I’m learning with them. I’m part of their journey and I’m part of what they’re learning and what we’re building together,” shares the educator.

He adds, “Knowing that what I do matters, not only to the lives of the learners, but also to the community at large, is what makes me get out of bed each and every morning.”

The road to a tertiary education and being a teacher was not an easy one for Hopolang.

“With my oldest siblings not getting a tertiary education, it was really, really difficult being the first when you’ve not seen anyone who’s done it in your family and there not being many people in your area who are educated. I’ve really had to work extra, extra hard to get to where I am today and where I am still going.”

Hopolang truly is a beacon of hope that serves to remind us that anything is achievable.

“The message that I would like to relate to people who come from similar backgrounds and who also don’t have parents, is that they should find a sense of hope that it is possible for anyone, no matter what the circumstances are. When they look at me they should see an emblem of hope.”