Dec 12, 2018
Louis Benjamin, Sylff fellow 2002–05 at the University of the Western Cape, has been selected to receive a Sylff Project Grant to facilitate improvements in education for grade R children (ages five to six) in Northern Cape Province, considered one of the poorest in South Africa.
He is the second to be awarded the grant since the program was launched in September 2017. Benjamin now runs an NGO called Basic Concepts Unlimited (BCU) in South Africa that provides specialized educational services to the early childhood development sector, schools, and educational practitioners who are working with young children, particularly in the foundation phase (grades R–3). (http://www.basicconcepts.co.za/about/about)
He has developed what he calls the BCP method—-cognition teaching with a noncognitive approach—that enables young children to acquire basic educational and life skills and prepare for the foundation phase (up to grade 3) of schooling.
He will introduce the BCP method to grade R teachers in the hope that its effect will continue for many more years. He has been implementing the method on a district/community basis for a number of years (see his project at www.basicconcepts.co.za/about/history) and will now expand the project throughout the Northern Cape in cooperation with the provincial Department of Education, organizing a number of workshops and follow-up activities for teachers.
During the project period from early 2019 to the end of 2021, his team will reach about half of the approximately 850 grade R teachers in the province. The project will thereafter be handed over to the Department of Education, which will carry on the initiative until all teachers have been exposed to the method, thus enabling the project to contribute to the education of young schoolchildren in the province over a long time period.