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Tackling the education gender gap in SA

Thobo Khathola, chief executive and founder of Lion Tutoring. Picture: Supplied

Thobo Khathola, chief executive and founder of Lion Tutoring. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 27, 2023


Sadly, in many parts of Africa, the right to education is not equally accessible to all, especially regarding gender.

Despite progress made over the years, particularly in achieving universal primary education, a significant gender gap in education persists across the continent.

The gender gap in education across Africa is stark and remains a significant challenge.

This is according to a study done by Unesco in Gender Equality in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite progress made towards achieving the Education For All (EFA) goals, gender parity in education has not been fully realised on the continent.

In fact, as of 2015, only the Seychelles has achieved education for all and in the same year, over 31 million primary school-age children were out of school in the region, with 53% being girls.

Looking to tackle and address the gender gap in education is Khathola through a private tutorial centre, Lion Tutoring. He said they established the centre based on the deteriorating pass rates across the country.

“Academics are becoming worse year in and out – in both private and public schools. The other issue is the high youth unemployment rate. The main reason we have Lion Tutoring is to solve those two problems,” he said.

Thobo Khathola who started off as a child coach in the trunk of his parents’ car created The Genius “Uber For Tutors” app which connects students and teachers of specific subjects together.

The young businessman is from Botswana, and his work as a university teacher inspired him to launch his company in that year.

He stated that he has always been passionate about education and is troubled by the continent of Africa dropping academic pass rate.

On how Lion Tutoring operates, Khathola said tutors are deployed to students’ homes all across Gauteng and Gaborone and the company also offers online tutoring.

Khathola is a University of Pretoria alumnus. His passion for bettering education started while he was a student at UP in 2015.

After his experience as a university student tutor, Khathola was keen to improve the pass rates of students. So he started operating from the boot of his car in his parents’ home, offering tutoring services to youth.

Lion Tutoring International has been in operation for eight years now.

On a yearly basis, Lion Tutoring has managed to engage positively with over 1 000 students, who have seen a significant change in their school marks.

Thobo Khathola with learners assisted by Lion Tutoring.

The founder of the company told “Sunday Independent” why some students need to be tutored.

“We make it convenient to access tutoring and educational support from the comfort of their homes.”

Learners have two options when studying through the centre – there is full-time homeschooling, looking at the last curriculum they did and there are classes offered on an extramural basis.

“Once a learner has completed the home-schooling programme, they are registered for an exam and sit through it. We offer all subjects offered at a conventional school and we have non-academic tutorials which include swimming and guitar lessons,” he said.