UP’s JuniorTukkie Winter School records more than 17 300 online visits in its first week

Posted on July 10, 2020

The University of Pretoria’s (UP) JuniorTukkie programme has begun hosting online Winter School classes free of charge to Grade 12 learners from around South Africa. Its Summer School, which kicks off in September, will also be freely available. Both focus on Mathematics and Physical Sciences.

“This initiative helps learners to improve their marks in these two core subjects, which are needed for admission to a variety of fields of study at UP,” says Dr Petrus Lombard, Project Manager of JuniorTukkie. “We realised that the education sector in South Africa lacks enough qualified teachers in these two subjects – with these initiatives, we can contribute towards bridging this gap.”

JuniorTukkie opted for virtual programmes because learners do not have access to UP’s campuses as a result of the pandemic. The Winter School for Grade 12 learners runs from 1 July to 31 August 2020 and the Summer School for Grade 11 learners from 1 September to 30 October 2020.

Since the beginning of the virtual Winter School classes, there have been more than 17 300 visits to the website by both learners and teachers from various regions in the country.

“This is a flagship project to recruit top-quality students for UP and to provide them with the necessary skills to make a successful transition from high school to university,” says Dr Lombard. “It forms part of several JuniorTukkie enrichment projects aimed at easing the transition from high school to university for learners.”

Teachers are advised to download recorded sessions from JuniorTukkie’s YouTube channel to present to their class. Learners are also encouraged to visit the channel to access videos, memos, study material and more.

“We have also put the whole programme on the JuniorTukkie website, at www.up.ac.za/juniortukkie,” says Dr Lombard. “Each online lesson is 20 minutes long, and to benefit from this programme, learners only need two to three hours a week to practice the work on the worksheets, memos and to watch the videos. We do not want to take over the responsibility of their teachers – this is simply an enrichment activity.” 

JuniorTukkie is also currently producing a new video series. “Some teachers and learners are inexperienced in mathematical reasoning,” adds Dr Lombard. “That’s why we are in the process of developing a series of seven videos to assist them.”

There will also be a virtual Grade 11 Empowerment Week and a Grade 12 Preparation Conference (supported by Investec), through which several valuable enrichment sessions will be presented. Learners can expect to hear from motivational speakers and gain insight into topics such as time management, study methods and entrepreneurship development.

Learners who have already paid for the physical Winter School classes are advised to email Mr Themba Maluleka ([email protected]) for a refund.

For more information about Winter School classes, click here.

- Author Xolani Mathibela

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