The majority of children growing up in Langa Township attend under-resourced schools, which lack access to the current educational and technological curricula that will prepare them for future opportunities.
As the world becomes increasingly shaped by science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), children coming from under-resourced schools are left even further behind. Skills and opportunity gaps will only continue to widen if bridges to STEM education are not built for these children. Not only does STEM open opportunities for employment, it also enables whole new sectors of employment to be created.
65% of children entering primary school this year will work in careers that don’t yet exist. Use technologies that have not been invented yet. In order to solve problems that we don’t even know are problems yet. It is estimated that 2 billion jobs that exist today will disappear by 2030; that is 50% of all jobs worldwide. The most sought-after skills for the 21st century are: innovation and creativity, critical thinking skills, entrepreneurship,problem solving and technology literacy. Herein lies the opportunity. The rest of the world is grappling with the same issue – how do we prepare students for success in a technology-driven future? Children growing up in the townships are naturally creative, problem solvers and entrepreneurs. iThuba was created to harness the strengths of the children and prepare them for success in the future.
iThuba’s mission is to create and engage the community in future technologies, innovative problem solving and introduce STEM programmes to the young people of the community through educational opportunities and experiences.
We envision a future in which…
…all iThuba learners are able not only to use new technologies but also to develop and design the newest technological solutions.
…our learners are solving real world problems in our own communities and are the most sought-after students in South Africa.
…Langa Township becomes known as a place where its students are highly trained for high-level future STEM jobs.
…our students are strong in numeracy and literacy and prepared for any future field of study or employment, not only in STEM fields.
The following ideas drive our goals, programme offerings and outcomes:
The programme will focus its resources and programme design on younger children living in Langa
After careful research into future job opportunities and sought after 21st century skills, iThuba will focus its curriculum and programmes on STEM related subjects and skills.
Activities will all be project based and experienced based with an emphasis on solving real world problems
iThuba aims to create partnerships across different sectors
A strong level of parental and family involvement is key to the success of the learner
Global Girls STEM Program
Langa July 2016
The objective of Global Girls STEM Programme is to encourage scientifically-minded girls in Langa Township to cultivate their STEM interests, to be curious about the world around them, and to pursue careers in STEM fields.
iThuba Afterschool Programme
Programme started in 2017
The iThuba Afterschool Programme began in May 2017 with a group of 30 Grade 4 students selected from the Moshesh Primary School. The goal of the programme is to build a strong educational foundation in maths, computer science and English. The programme curriculum, designed on the principles of project-based learning promotes problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, engineering skills, 21st century skill development, coding and robotics. The programme includes daily after school classes along with regular visits to the Cape Town Science Centre, Makers Faires, and other STEM-related educational outings.
- The 2017 iThuba Afterschool Programme is held at Moshesh Primary School in Langa
- The programme operates during all four terms of the school year
- The weekly programme runs Monday – Thursday from 3:00pm-5:00pm
- Educational outings are held on Saturday approximately 4-6 times during each term
- At 5pm all students are provided transportation from Moshesh Primary School to their homes
- A healthy snack is provided daily for all students
- Required that parents are involved in the parent programme and attend regular meetings and activities
- Students are evaluated at the end of each term to make sure the programme is a good choice for the student. If it is decided that the student is not making progress, the student will be asked to take time off from the programme and reapply at a later time. The student’s position will then be filled with another student from the waiting list
iThuba Young Learners Programme
Programme scheduled to begin in early 2018
Through working with existing Crèches the iThuba Young Learners programme will identify early learners that possess natural abilities and motivation for STEM subjects. The identified students will build a pipeline to iThuba’s STEM programmes.
Chapman University, Los Angeles, California
iThuba Innovation Hub partners with Chapman University Department of Education.
In January 2018, twelve Chapman University graduate students visited iThuba After School Programme.