Getting ready for next year: Schools in Limpopo

For the last six months, as use has been growing in and around Johannesburg, we've also been putting down roots in a very different context -- in the rural areas in and around Polokwane in Limpopo. This has been the work of Charles Malebana, an activist with Basic Education for All, who has been working to expand the use of the app in schools in the area.

Basic education in Limpopo struggles with limited resources, exacerbated by a provincial Department of Education that has gone through repeated scandals and failed to deliver on basics from textbooks to sanitation. In dealing with these challenges, better school governance is critical--to keep a watchful eye on resources, make inclusive decisions with scarce resources, and include teachers and parents in decision making.

That's where, we hope, Grassroot will provide support. Charles has been talking to school governing boards (SGBs) at almost a dozen schools in the area, and three of them have now taken up the Grassroot tools. In one school in particular, both a parent and an SGB member have volunteered to be Grassroot Ambassadors. The SGB has set up Grassroot groups for its subcommittees, as well as separate teacher and parent groups. Since the school year has ended, these have now just been set up, but the school intends to deploy them from January onward to galvanise participation. One of our focuses in 2017 will be exactly this -- the use of Grassroot in schools -- and so it's exciting to see these seeds sown in Limpopo. We'll hopefully have news of its impact and results in the new year.