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Upskilling teachers for the benefit of learners

The Vula Programme at Hilton College is The Hiltonian Society’s response to under-resourced schools in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

When the programme began in 2001, we tried to meet several community needs, from adult basic literacy to teaching maths and science to learners from local schools.

In 2004, we began to focus on the maths and science needs of schools in the greater Midlands area. To reinforce our offering, we provided teachers with teaching software and resources as well as training in teaching methodologies.

Today the programme comprises two component projects: the Vula Mathematics Project and the Vula Science Project.

Teachers in the programme are provided residential in-service training and are accommodated at Hilton College in the Vula lodges. Each maths teacher is also given a laptop to take back to their school after completion of their time at the Vula Mathematics Academy.

The impact of Vula

Since 2001, Vula has impacted:

  • Approximately 500 maths teachers and 300 science teachers; and
  • More than 40 000 learners, who have attended Vula events.

The numbers of indirect beneficiaries of Vula (that is, learners benefitting from improved maths and science teaching) is exceedingly more.

Viewed by many as the pre-eminent organisation of its type in the region, Vula has a proud track record of providing relevant, meaningful, and cost-effective educational interventions and creating opportunities for its beneficiaries.

In the words of Old Hiltonian Hugh Snyder (1953, McKenzie), who is a generous Vula benefactor, Vula is improving the education system “where it matters most: upgrading teacher quality”.

On behalf of the Vula staff, it is both a privilege and a joy for us to do this work.

Lloyd Smuts
Vula Director