by Mbali Sangweni, Service Leader 2019

Charles used to hide his work every day at Tshilidzi Primary School during City Year Children’s Club when we were doing certain lessons or homework help.  He made sure he sat in the back so that no one could see what he was writing and even if I asked to see his work, he wouldn’t let me see.  I wouldn’t look by force because I didn’t want him to feel ashamed because I could see he has low self-esteem.  The other day, I was helping the class with math homework and there he was at the back covering his book and I could see he wasn’t understanding anything because everyone was busying writing and he was just stuck.

I went to him and asked him if I could see how far he was and if there was anything he didn’t understand and he refused to show me his book, but told me he is not understanding anything.  I then explained and did some examples and showed him how to calculate, then I told him to do all the questions and show me when he is done.  He did so and he was very happy that he got the correct answers. The next day he come to me and told me he will ask for help when he doesn’t understand something. He no longer covers his books and asks me for help if he needs it.

* Learner name changed to protect his identity