Hands-on Learning Issue 24

Through the newly rebranded edition of our Hands-on Learning publication developed in June 2023, we hope to play a helpful role in synthesising information from innovators and implementers in civil society, supporting them to share what they have learnt so that others are able to draw from and build on their experiences.

Escaping The Inequality Trap: The Case For Supporting Pregnant Women

South Africa is stuck in an inequality trap with too few people able to build the knowledge and skills needed to fully participate in society and the economy. Our human capital pipeline is throttled at source, as high rates of low birth weight, stunting and inadequate access to early learning opportunities mean many children enter school with enduring learning deficits. They are likely to join the 300 000 learners that drop out of school annually; perpetuating inter-generational cycles of social and economic exclusion. Stop and think about it: we already know that, without a major change in the way we treat our children, many of the babies born in South Africa today have no chance of fulfilling their human potential!

This learning brief will show how, and why, improved support for pregnant women can help address malnutrition and stunting in the critical first 1 000 days of a child’s life, thereby changing a child’s development trajectory.

To read this learning brief, download a pdf here or read it magazine-style on ISSUU here.

Social Fathers: How Men Can Play A Greater Role In Caregiving And How This Impacts Our Children’s Future

The presence and support of nurturing and responsive caregivers helps children to reach their full potential. Although women have traditionally been seen as caregivers, adult men have an important role to play in the development of children as fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles, caregivers and Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners.

This brief explores how ECD practitioners and civil society organisations are challenging gender norms and changing perceptions about men in caregiving roles; helping to shape the lives of young people and refreshing attitudes about gender.

To read this learning brief, download a pdf here or read it magazine-style on ISSUU here.

Power, Access And Agency: Understanding Barriers To Parental Involvement

Parents are the first educators of their children. Their ability to know and love their children has unparalleled benefits. Research shows that encouragement and support from parents/caregivers, not necessarily assistance with specific homework, improves learner achievement even for children attending schools where the education offered is not of the highest quality. Although parents have untapped power – and rights – to hold schools accountable for quality standards, many feel they have little say in their children’s education for a number of complex reasons.

This learning brief looks at how three NGOs – Parent Power, Axium Education and Common Good – are driving parent engagement strategies in order to empower parents and fundamentally alter the educational trajectory of children in South Africa.

To read this learning brief, download a pdf here or read it magazine-style on ISSUU here.

Read the full issue below magazine-style on ISSUU – choose full-screen mode [ ] for a better reading experience. Download the full Hands-on Learning publication (Issue 24) here as a pdf.

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