Education Students Tutor Learners during COVID-19 Pandemic
The Edgewood Extra Tuition Programme (EETP), a non-profit organisation based in the School of Education, are providing tuition to Grades 10, 11 and 12 learners in the Pinetown area.
The EETP was established to address issues that learners in high school encounter in Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Life Sciences, English Home Language, English First Additional Language, Business Studies, Economics, Accounting, and Geography.
EETP, a programme established more than15 years ago, was run independently until the beginning of this year when it was adopted by the Community Engagement Sector in the School of Education under the guidance of Academic Leader Dr Angela James. Third and fourth-year students now serve as tutors in the programme.
Said EETP tutor Mr Sandile Mnyandu: ‘This year started with efficient organisation, recruitment and management of classes, until the University closed due to COVID-19. We were then faced with major challenges such as access to learners, suitable methods to teach them since many did not have access to laptops or other devices. Drastic decisions had to be taken regarding the future of the organisation. After numerous virtual meetings, the EETP team decided that the tutors should work together to develop study guides for the learners.’
These guides have a summary of all work activities with assessments. ‘The focus was directed at Grade 11 and 12 learners as the government had announced that these learners must return to school. The action undertaken was to message parents requesting that they collect study guides, taking the necessary precautions, from the Edgewood campus gate,’ said Mnyandu. ‘The tutors are continuing with tutoring through virtual means using WhatsApp and phone calls and learners submit activities for assessment.’
EETP Head of School Mr Philani Shezi thanked everyone who played a role in the production of the study guides. ‘These are the tutors who developed the study guides and the mentors (discipline specific lecturers) who reviewed them. Also, the programme co-ordinators provided support and guidance throughout the whole process. This was achieved under extreme pressure and in a limited time-frame.’
Words: Melissa Mungroo