ORT SA CAPE’s diverse educational expertise has been continuously enriching education in impoverished schools.
ORT SA CAPE is contributing to the improvement of education in the Western Cape. This is in line with the World ORT vision, ‘Educating for Life’. World ORT is one of the largest non-governmental education and training organisations in the world. ORT SA CAPE is affiliated to ORT SA, which celebrated their 75th anniversary in 2011. ORT SA CAPE’s objective, where possible, is to use science and technology. In its efforts to achieve its objectives, the organisation submits regularly to external evaluations, and seeks partnerships with other relevant bodies. ORT SA CAPE’s Chairman is Simon Susman and its Trustees include David Resnick; Treasurer Nilly Baruch; David Ginsberg; joint Vice Chairs Michael Bagraim and Shelley Friedman; Glen Heneck and Ariella Kuper. ORT SA CAPE is steered and guided by our passionate and dynamic director, Dr Lydia Abel.
ORT SA CAPE launched two new Grade R training programmes for 35 teachers in the Metro South (Mitchell’s Plain) Education District and 20 teachers in the Stellenbosch Education District. Our new course has been enhanced to include a language and perceptual skills module. A very exciting development in the recent past is the implementation of Robotics (LEGO and computers) as a powerful teaching tool. ORT SA CAPE realised that this tool is used all over the world to spark the interest of young learners in science and technology. ORT SA CAPE has coached and empowered teams to participate in the annual FIRST Lego League Robotics competition from 2008. Support and development This year we entered two teams for the World Robotics Olympiad on 20 July at the Cape Town Science Centre. Sihle Eric Hodana, our facilitator, trained the teams during the school holidays. We are very proud that our team was the only team to score in this difficult challenge. The children were so enthused by their results that they went to fetch Eric from his house on a Saturday morning, to start preparing for the next competition! Watch this space for their results at the November challenge. ORT JET will be launching our ‘Start your own Business’ series of programmes, run by a senior lecturer at UCT. The Business Plan Competition 2013 will be launched in October. ORT JET will also be focusing on Business Support, which will provide Cape Town-based businesses with support to ensure financial sustainability and operational viability through a mentor-based philosophy.
Other projects we are running include: ORTSEED Mathematics and Literacy Development in ten rural Primary Schools in Stellenbosch. Currently the focus has been on Mathematics, with an integrated Language and School Management Support Programme. 2012 has seen collaboration between ORT SA CAPE and the Universities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town, offering teachers a unique opportunity to engage with each other professionally. “I have waited 30 years for this,” said one teacher. Constructive Enrichment Afterschool Programme (CEAP) offers young children multiple opportunities to learn to read and write, primarily through the ORT/SHINE Buddy reading methodology, offered in their home language. Children are exposed to a wide variety of activities, including Robotics, Lego Programmes and training using cellphone technology to assist with reading and writing stories. This creates a balance between teachers’ development and motivated young children.