Involvement of the Roger Federer Foundation

In November 2014, a three year programme with the South-African organisation Molteno was launched to improve mathematics and literacy outcomes in primary schools at Grades 1-3 in Limpopo Province. The goal was to increase the performance of teaching in 161 schools by improving curriculum delivery in the classroom and at school leadership level within a sustainable framework. The programme had a total budget of CHF 1,138,400 and ended in December 2017. Project staff worked in collaboration with school administration and provincial officials in order to reach sustainable quality. The programme was externally evaluated – overall, it achieved positive results:

  • The programme reached 183 (22 more than targeted) schools and 34,636 learners respectively.
  • A high number of 797 teachers were reached and trained – 37 more than targeted.
  • 164 School Governing Bodies in intervention schools contributed to make their schools a beneficial learning environment for their learners.
  • 132 School Management Teams implemented introductory support practices in alignment with CAPS (Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement) and departmental recommendations.
  • The training and support provided to teachers and School Governing Bodies contributed to significant improvements in the quality of teaching and learning in participating schools. More than half of all teachers gained high levels of content, pedagogic and assessment knowledge and mathematics.
  • Qualitative data further showed a better understanding of teachers’ needs as well as improved skills among school management teams and school governing bodies.
  • Baseline and post-intervention tests show significant differences in the performance of foundation phase learners in language and mathematics at the beginning and at the end of the intervention activities for each cohort. 7,221 learners obtained 50% or higher in Literacy and Maths despite being one of the Provinces which ranks lowest in terms of performance.
  • The evaluation identified several success factors in the project, including teacher-friendly approaches that resulted in a high level of motivation among teachers, more training and contact hours for teachers, relevant and CAPS-aligned teaching materials, practical post-training support, as well as strong support by Limpopo Department of Education.

Based on the evaluation of this first phase, the Roger Federer Foundation approved an additional programme year focusing on the primary school reception class (“Grade R”). This will run as a pilot until the end of the 2018 with a total budget of CHF 370,000. The programme’s focus is on “learning through play”, with great emphasis on creating own resources from easily available materials. The main goals are:

  • 120 (85%) teachers apply knowledge and skills for holistic child development using appropriate learning materials and existing experiences of effectively running pre-schools.
  • 85% of all learners should be ready to enter Grade 1 in 2019, having developed appropriate cognitive, emotional, social and physical control skills, mastering themes relevant to their development stage.
  • 85% of all Grade R teachers (and participating pre-school teachers) understand school-preparedness, apply content and methodology knowledge for teaching Grade R, and cover the curriculum in an age-appropriate way.
  • 80% of the principals (and participating centre managers) understand early learning and its role in the lives of children. They hold curriculum meetings with teachers and practitioners.
  • 80% of all teachers, practitioners and principles have established a good exchange with parents.

Our implementing partner Molteno

Molteno Institute for Language and Literacy is a Non Profit Company in South Africa, founded in 2008. It has the mission to change our world by developing literacy and language, teaching and learning materials, while providing institutional training and class-room mentoring, curriculum support, whole school development, safety and security, governance at schools to developing communities. Additionally it develops teacher support material and provides adult basic education and training such as an indigenous language program,, available in eight South African indigenous languages. Molteno works currently in eight provinces of South Africa and has working relationships to eight other African states. Molteno received the highly respected UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy in 2014.



South Africa Facts

47.2 Mio
Compulsory education
7-16 years
Enrolment ratio
primary 89%, secondary 62%
Illiteracy rate
12% of children under 5 are undernourished

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