The success of Dr Math, a chat-based tutoring programme to assist learners with mathematics, has prompted education researcher Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, to explore the option of using a similar system for tutoring life orientation.
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga with Adele Botha and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
This compulsory learning area is taught from Grade R (final year of pre-school) to Grade 12. It guides and prepares learners for meaningful and successful living in a rapidly changing and transforming society. It is concerned with the social, personal, intellectual, emotional and physical growth of learners, and with the way in which these facets are interrelated.
Dr Math caught the attention of Mlambo-Ngcuka, a PhD student, who also runs a non-governmental organisation tasked with training for educators. Discussions with Adele Botha of the CSIR Meraka Institute confirmed that the AxS mobile platform used for Dr Math, could be used to launch a Dr Life Orientation and Life Skills (LOLS) programme.
Dr LOLS is similar to Dr Math, in that it uses the chat platform, MXit, to tutor learners in the field of life orientation. It was launched earlier this year and is currently supporting in excess of 500 learners. Feedback from educators and learners will be used to shape and refine Dr LOLS and be used to feed into the development of the AxS mobile service
Dr LOLS has the distinction of being used by the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga during the workshop in July 2010. Motshekga joined Mlambo-Ngcuka's workshop on invitation.