Brian Joffe receives accolade
From left: Willard Mugweni, ORT beneficiary: Eastbank High Alexandra; Brian Joffe, Bidvest CEO and president ORT SA; Ariellah Rosenberg, CEO ORT SA; Thokozile Mohale, ORT beneficiary: Ithute Primary Alexandra and Martin Behr, honorary life president ORT SA.
World ORT chief operations officer Jon Benjamin presented the 1880 Society Platinum and Lifetime membership award saying, “Mr Joffe has touched and influenced many people with his vision and commitment”. On receiving the award Brian said, “In South Africa, there is only one solution to creating jobs and that is education, especially maths, science and English.”
ORT SA has partnered with Bidvest in implementing educational projects in Alexandra since 2007. The partnership is aimed at improving the teaching and learning of mathematics and science in primary schools. The external evaluation on the ORT SA/Bidvest Maths Grade 6 project in 2013 shows a positive impact on the teaching and learning.
ORT SA is one of the biggest educational NGOs in South Africa and is affiliated to World ORT.
ORT SA and Bidvest bring technology to the classroom
This year marks the 7th anniversary of the ORT SA and Bidvest partnership to implement maths and science educational projects. The Grade 1s who were part of the initial maths programme are now the Grade 7s of 2014.
An external evaluation of the 2013 Bidvest Alexandra Grade 6 maths project confirms the positive impact on the teaching and learning of mathematics in those primary schools. This year ORT SA and Bidvest are implementing maths, science and information technology programmes to teachers at schools in Alexandra and Ivory Park.
To further enhance teaching and learning, ORT SA through Bidvest’s funding, gave 100 laptops to maths and science teachers in 12 primary and five high schools in Alexandra, as well as six primary schools in Ivory Park. These state of the art laptops are loaded with software such as Microsoft Office and ilearn (a maths, science and English programme).
At the project launches held at ORT House in Houghton, Mpho Matlala, ORT SA’s teacher empowerment division manager, told the teachers, "We are changing education in South Africa. The playing fields between disadvantaged and advantaged schools will be leveled with the introduction of technology into your schools, so these computers must be used to their fullest capacity, for the good of the pupils.” ORT SA is one of the biggest educational NGOs in South Africa. It is proudly affiliated to World ORT.
ORT launches Bill of Responsibilities
ORT SA created a fun, interactive educational game called "ORT 2 B RESPONSIBLE", which is used to teach children to be aware of their responsibility in ensuring they receive the best education possible. The game is based on the Bill of Responsibilities, which mirrors the South African Bill of Rights.
The game was introduced at ORT SA's Mandela Day programme in July 2013 and supports the ORT vision of 'educating for life'. Grade 4 to 7 pupils were assisted by over 100 volunteers to roll out the project to disadvantaged schools in Alexandra. Mr Mashishi, headmaster at Skeen Primary, said, "We had a wonderful time. ORT SA made our day."
Ariellah Rosenberg, head of the educator empowerment department which runs the projects together with Bidvest, said South Africa is the only country in the world that has adopted a Bill of Responsibilities. "What better way to inspire the youth of South Africa than with a fun game with an educational message? ORT SA strives to teach skills to a new generation so that they can commit to the ethics and values of the Bill of Responsibilities," she said.