In this age or times that we live in, there really isn’t much you can do without having acquired formal education and training. A job isn’t something easy to obtain either, unemployment is at its highest, especially without any qualifications. This has been a problem for a lot of young people when it comes to securing employment.

Despite all the different reasons there may be, which may hinder a lot of young people from getting the education they desire, there will always be noble young community heroes such as Theophilus Ntshalintshali who have taken it upon themselves to try and assist learners through their academic challenges to help them achieve in school and make their dreams a reality.

academic challenges

Theophilus is a young man from KZN at Mtubatuba that runs a program by the name ‘Asibahlenge Maths and Science Tutoring’ which offer maths and science tutoring services for grade 11 and 12.

Theo is a product of the Department of Basic Education’s Second Chance Program where young matric learners get to rewrite their matric to improve their marks. “The program was established in November 2020 while I was doing my matric for the second time trying to improve the marks I obtained since I couldn’t get to varsity with my initial marks” explains Theo. “I would often have my classmates reach out to me asking for assistance and I would help them”, mentioned Theophilus, giving us an insight as to how his program started.

academic challenges

He offered his assistance in Maths and Sciences to his classmates and learners from other schools voluntarily. And it was at this point in his life that he realized his passion lies in teaching. When he realized that he could make something out of the wonders he can do in other’s lives. He then went ahead to providing tutoring services because the learners shared positive reviews, and he loves what he’s doing for the learners. “For over 12 months now, I’ve been doing this wonderful work, having Mr. Gumbi and Mr. Shiba as part of the program where they help provide the best tutoring services for learners”, Theo continued.

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As keen as they seem to help learners overcome academic challenges, they only go as far as maths and sciences. Why could this be? “In high school, I studied Maths and Sciences for the love of it. But now they are subjects that could enable you to have a wider range of choices for your line of work or what you want to study in tertiary,” said Theophilus, explaining to us why his program focuses on the subjects it focuses on.

academic challenges

Theo is now studying for his Bachelor’s degree in Maths at UKZN Edgewood in Pinetown, “I am still doing my first year at university, both Mr. Gumbi and Mr. Shiba are also studying at the University of Zululand in Empangeni, it is important that we equip ourselves in the best possible manner in order to provide quality tutoring to learners,” said Theo.

In balancing his own studies and the program, Theo uses platforms such as WhatsApp, where there are groups of learners he tutors after school, “Monday to Friday is dedicated to me and my books, However, I am able to get into the WhatsApp groups from 16:30 to 22:00 to tutor them. Face-to-face tutoring takes place on weekends and school holidays, and during exam time we then have one-on-one sessions”.

Theo and his team at Asibahlenge have also been hired by a couple of schools, such as Okumhlophe High in Umlazi and in Jozini as well.

His vision and desire for the program is that it grows big enough for them to even get to have a center of their own or even a school where they could give students a chance to conquer their academic challenges and have them build a great foundation toward the future of their desires “learners on our program have reported significant improvement on their marks, especially in Maths and Science. For me, this is a calling, not just a job. That is why I pour my heart out to it” concluded Mr. Ntshalintshali.

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You can follow him on his Facebook page by clicking here.

Story by Worshiper Mkhize

Photos by Theo Ntshalintshali

By Worshiper Mkhize

Worshiper is a writer/blogger, and Head of Content at TMS Mag.