Teacher raises funds to get her pupils online

Jade Damonse

A high school teacher has had to get creative about getting her lessons out to her Grade 8 to 12 pupils during lockdown.

Parow resident Jade Damonse, who teaches English at Rhodes High School in Mowbray, started a Backabuddy campaign to raise funds to cover the data costs of pupils who were struggling to access the internet.

Initially she started delivering lessons via Facebook live, but after a while she noticed that fewer pupils were logging in to watch them.

“I decided to create a Facebook page, where I do live videos teaching my learners online. This was well received by the learners, but as we continued I saw numbers dropping,” she said.

“The learners became less interactive and the enthusiasm died.I thought the lockdown situation had got the best of them, (so) I tried inboxing them privately to find out what the problem was and they explained that they don’t have enough data.”

She also had a request from one of her pupils to rather post lessons in their WhatsApp group at night because she didn’t have day-time data.

So Ms Damonse started buying data for those who couldn’t afford to buy it themselves. However, when this became unsustainable, she started a Backabuddy campaign, with the goal of raising R5 000. To her surprise, she has already raised more than twice that amount.

“We have managed to raise R12 246.66 and I’m truly grateful,” she said.

“Last Friday I was delivering and dropping the SIM cards to the learners’ homes. 

“I would love to thank everyone who took time to work with us on this project, some people we don’t even know. We are truly grateful,” she said.