TVS's vision is to improve the life chances of children in the remote and impoverished Tyume Valley, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The area still carries many legacies of the former Apartheid era in the form of major social and economic inequalities; it has subsequently been affected by poor governance, HIV/AIDS and unemployment. Education is a vital element of rural development, both for individuals and the communities they live in. By providing teaching expertise and other educational resources, TVS improves the quality of children’s education and their opportunities, during their school lives and beyond.
TVS’ mission is to improve and extend opportunities for children growing up in Tyume Valley. We do this by providing additional educational resources, teaching and other learning opportunities for local children. TVS recognises that competence in English language and IT are essential skills in a globalised world. The core of our work therefore involves:
Improving spoken and written English among local children (whose first language is Xhosa). Working with local teachers, we provide a three-year, out- of-school English language programme for primary school children.
Introducing primary and secondary school children to basic IT skills through a customised programme that also develops competencies in understanding and speaking English.
Both programmes are supplemented with residential study camps at a nearby outdoor activity centre:
Study camps for primary school children aim to improve children’s confidence in understanding and speaking English
Study camps for school leavers develop their skills and confidence in using IT and preparing for further/higher education and employment.
In all our activities, TVS works closely with local schools and teachers.
We provide additional professional support and mentoring to local teachers.
We also link schools to the wider world by supporting partnerships between Tyume and UK schools.
Fluency in written and spoken English and IT skills are both essential if young people are to benefit from further/higher education and compete within a globalised labour market.
TVS offers additional professional teaching expertise to teachers and students, and connects children and schools to the wider world. We believe that local engagement is the key to sustainability and work closely with non-profit organisations in the valley and wider Amatole district.
For two years now, the Tyume Valley secondary schools have come very close to the national average in the percentage of pupils passing the National School Certificate (Matriculation) exam.
The average across Tyume schools was 70% in both 2016 and 2017, compared with a national average of 70% in 2016 and 75% in 2017. Tyume Valley results are now higher than the rest of the Fort Beaufort Educational District, where the average school pass rate was only 50% (2016) and 60% (2017).
When TVS first started working in secondary schools in 2012, the average local school pass rate was only 49% - so 2017’s 70% pass rate is a great achievement.