I am a recently retired teacher who has been given the dream job – to make a tangible difference in South African students lives! I have been offered to run a SAMI (South African Memory Institution) franchise in the West Coast area of Cape Town. What is awesome about SAMI is that it aims to equip and motivate struggling students to unlock their greatest potential. Empower me to pass on this gift – it was once given to me and it is my deepest desire to pay it forward!
About This Project
SOUTH AFRICAN EDUCATION IN CRISIS
Google this sentence and you will not struggle to find articles surrounding this subject. Dr. Nichalos Spaull, a post-doctoral researcher for the University of Stellenbosch, completed and published a report in October of 2013 titled “South Africa’s Education Crisis: The quality of education in South Africa 1994-2011″ that was commissioned by the CDE (Centre for Development and Enterprise). Among much research, one of Dr Spaull’s most relevant analysis pieces, is summed up in the image below:
Too often, the focus in South African education at the end of every academic year is on the total number of successful Matric passes, and not so much thequality of these passes or how many learners dropped out of the schooling system along the way. In the above mentioned published paper, Dr. Spaull highlighted the importance of effective study methods, memory recall and the access to quality education.
An Educator’s Perspective…
I personally can attest and confirm Dr. Spaull’s evaluation and research findings. I have been an Educator in Cape Town for the past 9 years and found this trend to be true no matter what type of school I taught at, state school or private and regardless of income levels. No matter how much effort I put into my lessons or the number of extra lessons I offered, many learners struggled to achieve. I watched parents over the years spend 100’s to 1000’s of Rands on subject tutoring only to find very little or no improvement in their child’s results. Today’s learners simply don’t know how to study or manage their time and as a result, suffer with severe exam stress and anxiety. Suffice to say, when these learners underachieve, despite the effort they put in, it leaves them feeling like failures and incredibly demotivated. This type of negative belief tends to have a ripple effect into all school subjects and tragically, into a student’s whole life. I found this very hard to accept as an educator. If no intervention takes place, the burden of under achievement will often prevent learners to attain a tertiary education or will follow them into their working lives one day.
STUDENT REVOLUTION – Enable me to inspire!
With the help of the South African Memory Institute or better known asSAMI, I and my future facilitators can help change this negative belief by teaching these students skills and techniques that are not taught in many schools. An empowered and motivated student will be equipped to unlock their full potential and have the courage to pursue their deepest dreams and desires! Being a parent myself, I understand the need to ensure one’s child reaches THEIR full potential and realise their goals. Inspired humans are world – changers!
WHAT IS SAMI ALL ABOUT?
SAMI is a fantastic educational brand that has been around since 1997 and is backed by the WCED (Western Cape Education Department). I potentially have the privilege to be apart of this awesome brand. Their main aim is to help equip all South African students, starting from Grade 6 to Grade 12, with practical skills that will enable them to attain life – long success, which I think is absolutely awesome! Please visit their website at www.memoryinstitute.co.za for a more thorough perusal.
In a nutshell, their ethos stands as follows:
1. To develop a learner’s total character by shortening his/her study time
2. To improve learner’s study techniques
3. Showing learner’s how to really enjoy their studies
4. The main, and most important goal, is to see to it that learners achieve their full potential – Don’t forget it!!
Successful applicants (the maximum amount of students is15 per course to ensure effective education) will attend a 5 day course of 2.5 hours (this can be adapted to suit a group’s needs) after school hours in a classroom at the school campus they attend to negate any transport issues. The school receives a donation from SAMI to reciprocate for the use of a venue. During the course, students can expect the following:
Development of Learning skills such as:
– Left and right brain development
– Effective listening, writing and reading
– Memorising and recalling
– Summaries and identifying of keywords
– Exam techniques and exam stress
Development of Life skills such as:
– Aspiring towards a positive attitude
– Communication skills (Active listening)
– Better concentration, logic and creativity
– Time management, planning
– Preparation for tertiary studies
SAMI has been very successful in the Northern Regions of Cape Town and wish to expand into the West Coast areas to spread this gift.
MY PERSONAL JOURNEY – This type of education works!
I was classified as a student with learning disabilities at the age of 11. My academic performance was below average and I despised school! As human nature goes, if you aren’t good at something, you don’t want to do it. In my mother’s wisdom, intervention was organised and I had an educational consultant personally deliver a similar course to me in my Grade 6 (then standard 4) year. As a result, my marks began to improve over the years and by the time I entered High School, I was achieving and even receiving some awards here and there! I passed my Matric year with an endorsement, attained a tertiary qualification in Science and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Needless to say, I became an educator and have taught subjects such as Natural Science, Life Sciences and Physical Science. Additionally, I fulfilled many different types of portfolios as an educator which only enriched my skill set, hence having the confidence to run my own franchise. If you had told me this when I was 11, I never would have believed you!
PAYING IT FORWARD – Help me pass it on
I came across one of SAMI‘s adverts to own a franchise, applied and was accepted with great enthusiasm! My ONLY setback an investment towards the franchise brand to receive all the course material and begin student recruitment for my specific region. At the risk of sounding cliche’d, my greatest passion since I started teaching has been to make a real, tangible difference by awakening learners to realise their full potential – and this is my opportunity to do it!
Milestone 1: R40 000 – Unlocking the potential and Changing Lives
These funds will cover my minimum investment amount. SAMI will then send me all the course material including manuals, workbooks and CDs and the right to begin small-scale marketing (including pamphlets and/or brochures) under their brand and recruiting students from Grade 6 to Grade 12 in all Primary and Secondary schools found in the West Coast region of Cape Town. I can start changing lives! All backers will be kept informed and updated as this journey takes place such as the receiving of the course material and the first group of students recruited!
Milestone 2: R 100 000 – Dream fulfillment : Spreading the Word!
Any additional money will aid in the hiring and training of additional facilitators, helping me to reach as many students as possible. Furthermore, large – scale marketing and advertising strategies will be deployed such as business cards and car vinyls. Additional educational aids such as an Over Head Projector and transparencies will be purchased as well as name badges for the facilitators, branded t-shirts and travel expenses will be covered. A continuous update of this journey will be shared in the form of videos and photos of additional recruiters that are hired, the first student group recruited and basically, when any new exciting developments arises!
First in Command – Andrea Reed
I have been an educator for the past 9 years where I have mainly taught the subjects Natural Sciences, Life Sciences and Physical Sciences. I studied and graduated in the Eastern Cape, obtaining my Bachelor of Science degree in 2005 and Post Graduate Certificate of Education in 2006. I moved to Cape Town in 2007 where my teaching career commenced. I have since taught in many different types of schools such as established state schools, newly opened schools and my most recent institution included Learners with Special Education Needs (LSEN).
I have however, come to the turning point in my life where I know I can be an even more useful tool outside normal curriculum delivery due to my personal journey and experience. I have the necessary skills to make SAMI successful and wish to create a positive space for learners to develop into the whole individuals they are.
Running a SAMI franchise will give me the gift of changing lives and realizing my own dreams.
Second in Command – Keenan Bantom
A fourth generation teacher with 9 years behind him, he shares a great passion for education and more importantly, compassion for the students he teaches. Originally from the Eastern Cape, Keenan graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2005 and received his Honors Degree in Botany, in 2006. For this specific campaign, he plays the role of IT Guy, Social Media networking and administrative functions with regards to the rewards. Once my franchise is established, he will be added support with regards to school networking – thank you!