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University of Pretoria’s JuniorTukkie team helps high school learners

The entrance to the University of Pretoria. Picture: File

The entrance to the University of Pretoria. Picture: File

Published Jun 30, 2022

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Pretoria - The University of Pretoria’s JuniorTukkie team has turned schooling challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic into fruitful opportunities to help high school learners with their school work and career choices.

JuniorTukkie is a flagship project of the university's Department of Enrolment and Student Administration.

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Through their free jTOnline e-learning platform, the team has embraced the educational opportunities that the virtual world presents one video at a time.

From 2012, JuniorTukkie has hosted regular events to empower prospective students to make wise study and career choices, and be better prepared for their exams.

The learners used to visit the university’s Hatfield Campus each year to receive dedicated help with end-of-year exam preparation at events such as Winter and Summer schools. During the events, learners were assisted with tools to improve study methods, problem-solving, and the best ways of answering exam papers in core subjects.

However, following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, the team decided in July 2020 to adapt and launch the JuniorTukkie YouTube channel and eventually an e-learning platform juniortukkie.online in 2021.

Both the jTOnline platform and its associated channel successfully have garnered 100 000 views to date. The platform now provides extensive free learning content for mathematics, physical science, accounting, life sciences, natural sciences and English for grades 8 to 12 across South Africa.

“Although challenging at times, it’s been nothing short of exciting and rewarding. We’ve already uploaded nearly 1 000 educational videos, all developed by skilled and experienced teaching professionals,” said the manager of the JuniorTukkie and Undergraduate, Dr Petrus Lombard.

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With uncertainties surrounding Covid-19 regulations still looming, the team decided to suspend the Winter and Summer school events in-person, and instead create a free series of online Grade 12 examination preparation classes that will be broadcast to registered users until the end of August.

"It will allow us to potentially reach thousands of matriculants, rather than just a few hundred.

The broadcasts are recorded and distributed via YouTube. All content is therefore available for future viewings,” added Lombard.

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