From the age of six, life and learning came with their challenges for Tebogo Phetlha ,With the passing of his mom and a move from Gauteng to Kwazulu-Natal with his aunt, Vivian Phetlha, Tebogo made the difficult adjustment to a new home. In January 2013, Tebogo started grade 3 in Shanaaz Omarjee’s class at Clarence Primary, an English medium school in Durban. With no understanding of English or Zulu, only of Tswana from where he grew up, Tebogo was unable to process instructions and new concepts that were being taught at school. Furthermore, he struggled to make friends and settle into his new environment. His confidence levels and emotional wellbeing were affected to such a point that Mrs Omarjee saw the need for a drastic change.
It was during that time that iSchoolAfrica, an education initiative that facilitates providing Apple technology to schools, began the iPad implementation at Clarence Primary School. With the assistance of their sponsor, the Victor Daitz Foundation, and constant support from the iSchoolAfrica facilitator Mike Notley, Clarence Primary School is seeing excellent results in Maths and English specifically and now has 60 iPads at the school.
Mrs Omarjee began to experiment with iPads in her class, and Tebogo was instantly enthusiastic about using them. She sat with Tebogo at break times and after school to find ways of improving his English with the iPad. Using various apps and different ways of practising reading and writing, Tebogo steadily began to show progress. At the end of 2013, the school and his family decided to keep Tebogo back in grade three to continue under Mrs Omarjee’s care and guidance. With the iPad, the support of his aunt and the constant guidance and commitment from Mrs Omarjee, Tebogo’s life completely changed. From being unable to understand English at all in 2013, he can now read and write and is a confident young boy creating and presenting his own Keynote presentations. At 9 years old, he has already encountered numerous obstacles, but through persevering, and working closely with his teacher and iPad, he has successfully overcome every single one.