April 2016   

Building strong rural pipelines

Vuyisa and the Tigers at Cape Peninsula University of Technology

The first few months of the year have been busy and rewarding. Several new team members joined us at the start of 2016 and they've brought fresh energy and ideas that have reinvigorated what we do. Our growing team speaks to the steady snowballing of our work - clearly still some way from tipping point if you look at the 2015 Grade 12 results for the Eastern Cape - but nevertheless making vital educational gains, from little children reading for the first time to first-generation university students.

If we actually drew what we do on a board, it would take the shape of a pipeline. In fact, we did that recently. And filmed it. This pipeline runs from the early, essential learning years laying foundations of basic literacy and numeracy, through the middle and high school years as students transition to English-medium instructionand begin grappling with complex problem-solving - and ultimately into the tertiary education or working world. We aim to inspire and equip rural learners to progress successfully through this educational pipeline, and support our many partners along it to do the same.

It's hard work. There are substantial holes in the hypothetical pipe, sections that are missing or rusted... and it's all laid on an uphill track. And if you haven't seen the hills around here, they're hilly. Despite this, there are still learners excelling, teachers persevering against the odds... Progress is being made - incremental as it may seem at times.

We're excited about a new year with new opportunities to support learning, advocate for justice and see all those involved nyamazela (persevere) up the pipe track, filling in holes and reinforcing the route as they go.

We hope you enjoy this edition, packed with inspiring results, stories of hope and fun learning.

Yours in rural opportunities

The Axium Team

Coming up in this issue…

Celebrating Matric 2015

Matric 2015 was a stellar year, with 17 students achieving Bachelor passes, our biggest group yet! We have 14 new students at tertiary institutions throughout the country, studying courses from actuarial science to entrepreneurship. Well done Matric 2015! Click here for some stats that show the trajectory we're on.

Spotlight on Beyond School

'Beyond School' is the aspect of Axium's work that everything else points towards: the next steps students take beyond school, into the tertiary education or working world. Much to our excitement, Thuliswa Nodada recently joined the team to head up this aspect of the work.

Craig Paxton and the Zithulele Tigers recently caught up with some of the Axium alumni in Cape Town. Click here for some stories of these inspiring young people who are blazing a trail for their peers to do the same.

Day Zero - Learning Out of the Box

At Axium, we aim to cultivate curiosity in our students - a key ingredient for self-driven and lifelong learning. At the MasaKHANe programme, one way we're doing this is through Day Zero - a break from the usual routine that exposes learners to new knowledge and experiences. Read about our first Day Zero here.

Meet the Team!

In this edition, we're delighted to introduce one of the members of the Nobalisa crew. Ezile Dalibango is a stalwart member of the Community Reading team, whose commitment and enthusiasm make him a delight to his colleagues and learners alike. This now 15-strong group is sparking a love for stories amongst Foundation Phase learners in 6 Junior Secondary Schools. Watch this space to hear more of their growing impact and influence. Click here to read new volunteer Josh Morgan's interview with Ezile.

Axium in 12 Minutes

Miss the subtle hint to watch a video in the editorial? We recently put together a short one that outlines who Axium is, and what we do. Watch it - and please share!

Can you help? We're looking for:

  • Dynamic, hardworking, 'adventurers in education' (volunteers!) - we're always looking for great people willing to volunteer their time - and have an infinite amount of things to do!
  • Rugby/soccer boots (cleats) for the Tigers - if you have an old pair in the back of the cupboard, let us know, we'll arrange collection.
  • Stuff for kids: Reading books, Xhosa-English dictionaries, calculators, maths sets, solar lights… anything that will help rural kids learn!
  • Donations to our Building Fund: the Axium team work out of homes, under trees, in open spaces and at other people's desks! We're raising funds to build a space where we can work more collaboratively and effectively - help us make this dream come true!

©2016 Axium Education