The Umkhumbane Schools Project

Tuesday, 11 April, 2017

Sipho Khumalo, SANTHE Administration Supervisor, hard at work on a Saturday morning mentoring Grade 10 maths students.Funded by SANTHE lead institute - the Africa Health Research Institute – through a Howard Hughes grant, and founded in 2012, the Umkhumbane Schools Project is an innovative partnership involving five secondary schools in the historic Cato Manor township area near Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. With a specific focus on mathematics and science, the programme strives to improve academic outcomes and enhance access to tertiary education in a disadvantaged community full of potential.

Directed by Project Leader Martha Bishai, the programme’s approach models an innovative and independent NGO-schools’ partnership that has the potential to be replicated in other disadvantaged settings.

Umkhumbane Schools Project currently has an office at Wiggins Secondary School but plans to have an office per school in the near future. So for now, this is where SANTHE Administration Supervisor, Sipho Khumalo, volunteers every Saturday morning - ready to tutor maths to any one of the 170 signed up Grade 10 and 11 students who might arrive that particular morning (normally about 130 attend). Khumalo says he does this because he “loves maths and wants to give back”.  Bishai reports that about 10 grade 12 pupils at Wiggins are currently achieving A’s in maths and science.