Go for Gold is still going strong!

Go for Gold remained resilient and adapted our efforts to connect with our students during the Covid19 South African lockdown. We managed to maintain contact and deliver our programme to our Phase 1 students during the March school holidays and deliver our Maths and Science tuition, and Leadership Development training using WhatsApp as soon as the second school term started.

Our students do not have internet provisions at home, nor do they attend schools who are able to provide IT infrastructure or devices to help deliver curriculum during lockdown. Attempts were made by schools to email schoolwork to students but this option highlighted social shortfalls in provisions of data or access to the internet. Our students found themselves in a precarious position having lockdown start in the beginning of their final year of school and they voiced that they needed instruction by teachers to understand their work.

Go for Gold was well aware of this need and fortunate enough to provide a short-term solution in order to ensure our programme delivery remained uninterrupted, despite the Covid19 lockdown.  We are very proud that we have managed to find ways to assist our students, in a personalised format where students were able to get individual attention to their queries.

Phases 2 was severely compromised in that construction companies were not allowed to operate during the lockdown and only from Level 4 could civil construction companies return to work, therefore only some of our Phase 2 students returned to work.

Phase 3 saw tertiary institutions renting out laptops to our tertiary students so there could be minimal disruption to their studies.

Special mention: PHASE 1

March Holiday Programme

Ordinarily in March, our students enjoy exciting Holiday Programme activities such as being transported to numerous construction sites belonging to Go for Gold partner companies. The students would have received professional talks by engineers, quantity surveyors, architects, etc. but unfortunately lockdown occurred unexpectedly and this was no longer possible. Go for Gold decided that we would adhere to our own teachings we give our students in Leadership Development training and show the students how to make the best of a bad situation. 

With health being majorly emphasised around the globe at the moment and Health and Safety an imperative practice for our industry, we launched the Go for Gold Health Ambassador Campaign. The campaign ran remotely via a WhatsApp group which all our students were added to. Each day we gave students new topics to respond to. The student responses were brilliant and boasted their confidence in recording videos of some of their answers to us. We awarded each daily winner with R30 airtime to say thank you for giving their best. It was very difficult for our panel of judges to pick a winner each day because they all were very good. The campaign ran for a full week from Monday 23 March to Friday, 27 March 2020. We were most surprised when the students requested a new task to respond to on the Saturday 28th March, a day after the campaign had ended. We saw this as a very positive sign that our students felt motivated to participate some more and were disappointed to hear that the campaign had run its course.

To view the most viewed video by our student Owam Vethezo, that reached 57 155 every province in South Africa, click here. To view all the student responses videos, visit the Go for Gold Facebook page

Go for Gold Weekly Classes

Our Maths and Science tuition and Leadership Development classes have commenced on schedule for the second term and attendance has been good.

Our Maths and Science tutors and the Leadership Development facilitators agreed to continue the Grade 12 classes via WhatsApp. Go for Gold allocates data every Friday to each student to partake in all our classes. Each Friday the students will receive their pre-work for the Saturday sessions. Should they not respond or submit their homework, they warned that they could face deselection. We are happy with every student’s participation. I demonstrate an example below of the Maths WhatsApp chat group where the tutor opened the Maths session:

Despite their personal circumstances, our students adapted effortlessly in the shift from a physical classroom to a virtual one, the tutors too. The tutors upload all the sessions’ presentation notes and worksheets to the Whatsapp group as images. Both students and tutors used voicenotes to eachother to give or seek solutions in the topic discussed. 

Go for Gold members of staff significant to Phase 1 are administrators on the various Whatsapp groups and are maintaining a register of all attendees while monitoring and evaluating their participation.

We await more news on lockdown regulations but should physical class time be permitted, Go for Gold will continue with three virtual classes and one physical class per month to protect our students and reduce any chance of Covid19 infection.