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Warwick in Africa goes from strength to strength

Thanks to the support of alumni and friends, the Warwick in Africa programme has had an amazingly successful 2009. This means that more than 6,500 learners in South Africa and Tanzania have received a boost to their education, more than 90 teachers have benefited from discovering new teaching skills and methodologies and 43 township learners have been identified and recruited as members of the International Gateway for Gifted Youth (IGGY).

Proven success

In four years, the Warwick in Africa programme has developed from an experimental pilot into a significant programme with a proven scalable model which is working in two countries in a highly cost effective manner.

Early success has led to a significant scaling of the teaching project, a sooner than anticipated launch of IGGY in Africa as well as the acceleration of the Warwick Medical School’s postgraduate medical education plans for Mozambique.

Aspiration and motivation

At a maximum cost of £20 per learner, the programme has already successfully:

  • Increased the aspirations and motivation of African learners and more than 90 teachers
  • Improved class attendance in South Africa with as much as a 75% increase within the first week of Warwick student teaching
  • Demonstrated an improvement of 30-40% in test results for learners taught by Warwick students
  • Raised the confidence and improved the learning ability of learners previously taught by Warwick students

Behind these statistics, there’s a huge amount of hard work. In South Africa, Warwick students have organised full teaching loads which they have supplemented with extra-curricular activities such as lunchtime remedial classes. They have also organised mathematics clubs, dancing classes, sports events and supported the Kliptown community in Johannesburg.

This year the Warwick in Africa Programme has also:

  • Overseen the launch of a mathematics club in Tanzania which saw 30 – 100 pupils attend regularly
  • Seen the membership of an English language club in Tanzania rise from 20 in 2008 to over 200 in 2009
  • Enabled seven township teachers to visit the University of Warwick and increase their knowledge through school visits and meetings with the Warwick academic community
  • Talent spotted some very bright learners to join the first 43 township members of IGGY. Three of these learners joined the summer IGGY U which took place at Warwick.
  • Launced the inaugural meeting of IGGY South Africa

Building on success

Building on this success in South Africa and Tanzania, Warwick is now working to create a programme of continuing professional development which can be delivered flexibly to doctors in Mozambique. Warwick Medical School (WMS) has developed a vision, through site visits in spring 2009 and with help from the Faculty of Medicine at University College Mozambique (UCM), to offer sustainable postgraduate medical education in that country. Through collaboration with UCM, course content for a Masters in Clinical Sciences is being developed together with facilities for integrated learning.

None of this work would have been possible without the support of many people. We thank all those who have contributed to the programme. Barclays Capital, the ExPat Foundation, the Supraja Foundation as well as number of individuals have enabled approaching half a million pounds to be collected over the past four years to fund this growing programme.

However, the University would not have been able to use these funds so effectively were it not for the very generous help given by staff at Witswaterand University – especially Karen Clohessy and Shalati Mobunda, Lewis Mxolisi Molefe and Corin Mathews. In Tanzania, we are indebted to Dr Eugenia Kafanabo, Associate Dean of the Institute of Education, Dar es Salaam University, and our alumnus, Professor Florens Luoga. We thank all the schools for making the Warwick students so welcome, assisting them to maximize the impact of their visits. Special thanks go to alumnus Patrick Dunne for his tireless commitment to the Warwick in Africa Programme and whose energy, personal support and passion have helped the programme to attain so much in such a relatively short time.

Moving forward

Moving forward from here, we have ambitious plans for the Warwick in Africa Programme. We hope to:

  • Secure funding for three to five years to increase the long-term impact of teaching for children in Africa
  • Send each Warwick student for a longer period of time to reinforce the impact of their teaching
  • Increase the average stay for more than 24 students
  • Provide teaching for a school in Kliptown
  • Support the schools in Dar es Salaam to include two PGCE English teachers in each group of 12
  • Offer consultancy to other universities looking to develop teaching projects for other deprived communities
  • Consolidate the IGGY membership in the townships through the provision of accessible opportunities and local meetings
  • Create an IGGY hub in Johannesburg - a safe space with supported access to the web
  • Provide six IGGY scholarships for South African learners and two IGGY scholarships for Tanzanian learners (at £2,500 per scholarship)
  • Organise an IGGY U in Africa
  • Provide a Masters in Clinical Sciences to doctors in Mozambique
  • Use the fifth anniversary of Warwick in Africa on campus in May 2010 to promote further fundraising for the Warwick in Africa Programme to take it to another level again
  • Extend the programme to Ghana. We are considering the viability of setting up a one month teacher training project in August 2010 which Warwick alumni teachers might be able to deliver. If anyone is interested in helping us to consolidate the plans, please contact Mary McGrath

None of this can be achieved without the support of our alumni and friends. If you are interested in finding out how you can make a difference to education in Africa, contact Mary McGrath, Director of Major Gifts (tel: +44 (0) 24 7652 2661 or e-mail