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Name: D.C.L. Smith Foundation
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Zabuza: Professional Learning Community
Post Status: Not applicable
Main Project Location: Johannesburg
Project country/countries: South Africa
Project dates: –
Last updated: 23 Mar 2022
Brief overview of the Case Study
Zibuza.net is an online professional learning community aimed at teachers, learners, parents, and organisations operating in the educational sector. The platform also provides access to 1000’s of educational resources including lesson plans and other related material. Zibuza is an online professional learning community (PLC) that aims to improve the quality of teaching in South Africa by means of discussions, collaborations and access to resources. Zibuza is personalised to meet the individual and collective needs of a teacher based on location, grade, subjects and interests. As well as networking with other like-minded professionals, Zibuza connects teachers with organisations and institutions who offer various opportunities, resources and rewards.
The challenge or problem
Despite significant investments by the government and the private sector towards basic education in South Africa; There is a lot of fragmentation and silo-driven efforts amongst the many stakeholders within basic education, from the government to business, union, education agencies and even to professionals.
The second challenge is the teachers – there is not enough support for teachers especially when it comes to emerging learning technologies in the time of 4IR. (Neil Mooi, Zibuza Founder at Pitch for Accelerate 2030)
The solution that was implemented
An online professional learning community was created that connects all stakeholders within the basic education ecosystem, where we aim to enhance the combined knowledge, experience, and investment to make a significant impact in basic education.
Zibuza focuses on 3 pillars;
Professional development of teachers – Training teachers, providing teachers with access to quality resources as well as teacher placement.
Support to teachers – Both holistic support and curriculum support.
Appreciation – Zibusa is the only platform that recognises and rewards teachers for their participation and contributions to the greater South African teaching community.
What results were achieved?
Malcolm's extensive background in the education sector dates back to 2002 where he first began his career as a Trainer. In 2003, he joined the IT industry at a leading software firm and combined these passions in 2009 when Zibuza.net was first established. (extracted from Bizcommunity.com)
Zibuza.net aims to be a ‘voice for the teachers,’ by giving them a platform that enables teachers to share resources, career advice and curriculum support. Zibuza.net has signed up over 12, 000 teachers.
Zibuza works closely with both the public and private sector, both locally and abroad. The startup's prominent accolades include: 2020 Mastercard Foundation Edtech Fellow, 2020 FNB Social Entrepreneur Impact Lab Top 25 Winner, 2019 Finalist for Accelerate2030 SDG4 by the United Nations, 2018 MISK Challenge Award Winner, 2018 Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation Recipient and 2018 World Summit Awards Country Winner.
Lessons and recommendations
Zibuza was initially established a For-Profit organisation, but when founder Malcom approached government and corporate for funding support, he was advised to register the start-up as a Non-Profit Organisation for them to be able to assist him. (Neil Mooi, Zibuza Founder at Pitch for Accelerate 2030)
In 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, Zibuza surveyed teachers from both public and private schools to assess education inequalities during the pandemic, read more Will the Pandemic Deepen the Divide Between Public and Private Schools?
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