It’s almost time for June examinations, and while most pupils are elbow-deep in books, this time can be extra stressful for many rural students.
Classrooms are often overcrowded, so teachers cannot properly engage with pupils on an individual level. This means that those who struggle with certain subjects or topics tend to fall further behind with each exam they take, Corridor Gazette reports.
As part of their efforts to combat this, Imagine Scholar, an NGO based in KaMhlushwa, Mpumalanga, has partnered with Paper Video to give pupils access to additional resources.
Paper Video is a social enterprise founded in 2015, which creates resources for pupils across the country. It developed textbooks and exam papers with a video lesson linked to each question and concept. This can be accessed on mobile devices and, through the use of micro SD cards, learners can access thousands of video lessons without having an internet connection or cellphone reception.
As connectivity can be an issue for Imagine Scholar pupils, Paper Video’s resources complement the organisation’s rigorous mentorship programme.
Pupils are assigned questions to test their understanding of topics tutors covered in the classes. If they get stuck, a video can take them through the question step by step.
John Helbig, Imagine Scholar science and mathematics facilitator, explained it could be challenging to find enough time to plan lessons, create and mark assignments and give students individual support on the level he’d like.
“The content provided by Paper Video allows students to get help on specific questions using a computer or tablet. This in turns helps students to drive their own learning process and gives me the space to do more of what I love, which is to challenge their thinking, ask higher-level questions, and engage in deeper discussions.”
Great resources can’t be properly utilised without engaged, motivated people to drive it, said Paul Maree, Paper Video co-founder.
Imagine Scholar’s approach to education has helped their students achieve amazing results. Several have been accepted into programmes such as the Yale Young Global Scholars programme, the United World College, the African Leadership Academy and received university scholarships including the prestigious Mastercard Foundation Scholarship.
In the two years since Imagine Scholar has partnered with Paper Video, its grades 10 to 12 learners have improved by 16% on average in their year-end marks for maths, physics and life sciences.
Justice Masinge, who graduated from the Imagine Scholar programme with eight academic distinctions, now assists in the facilitation of younger students. He remembered how excited he was to first use the resources and how much it helped him.
Lucky Khoza, a Grade 11 learner said: “Every time I had to write an exam or test I would get scared about it because I did not know what to expect, and I felt that I did not practice enough.”
He explained the videos helped him prepare for exams in a different way, and he learned how to test his understanding of the material. “Doing the past exams on Paper Video helped me see patterns in exam questions and to create strategies on how to solve problems or answer questions.”