Our team is comprised of smart and dedicated people who believe in our long-term vision, that it is indeed possible for all South African kids to learn to read for meaning and calculate with confidence by age 10 by 2030. These are the people we trust to lead our programs, develop our materials, and advocate for their widespread uptake by government.
Head: Content & Training
Permie Isaac is currently the Head of Content at Funda Wande. Initially employed as a coach in the Eastern Cape intervention, Permie was quickly promoted to Maths Specialist, to Head of Maths Implementation, and finally to Head of Content. Her rapid career progression highlights the fundamental role she plays in Funda Wande and the clear advantages her deep knowledge of all content areas as well as teacher practice has for the organisation.
Before joining Funda Wande Permie worked as a lecturer at Rhodes University teaching PGCE and BEd students. She lectured two courses, IsiXhosa Methods and Education Environment. She also later lectured the Foundation Phase Literacy Teaching Short Course. Permie started her career as a successful Foundation Phase teacher in a struggling environment and holds a PGCE in Foundation Phase from Rhodes University.
In addition to her rich career and educational history, for the past 9 years Permie has emersed herself in many aspects of education, from working with experts in literacy and numeracy, curriculum planners, subject advisors, school management teams, teachers, parents and learners. Together this vast network of experience gives Permie essential insights into the educational system at various levels, providing her with critical knowledge into how key stakeholders work together to either ameliorate or exacerbate existing social inequalities.
Permie strongly believes that teachers are the most essential ingredient in shifting learner outcomes. Her key interest is in strategies to improve and sustain teacher practice within classrooms.
Ingrid Sapire has been involved in mathematics teacher education for 25 years. After teaching mathematics in schools, she began lecturing at the Johannesburg College of Education (JCE) (1993-2001). She was a materials developer and lecturer based at the RADMASTE Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) (2003-2006) and then became a part time staff member (primarily as a researcher) in the Wits Education Department (2007 to present). She has been involved in the development and presentation of materials for mathematics teacher education courses and training programmes, has developed numerous systemic mathematics assessment instruments and has written and edited both high school and primary school mathematics textbooks and resource material. She has also developed and reviewed print based and online OER (open educational resource) material for mathematics teachers and teacher educators. She has worked as a writer and researcher for Wits, SAIDE (The South African Institute of Distance Education), the HSRC (Human Sciences Research Council) and JET (Joint Education Services). She has been involved in the implementation (at scale) of mathematics lesson plans (which are supported by bilingual learner material) for Foundation Phase teachers. In 2017-2018 she was the leader of the project Researching Multilingualism in Foundation Phase Mathematics and was the chairperson of a ministerial task team that developed a framework for the teaching of mathematics in South Africa schools. She is currently still based at Wits University and is working on her PhD, on multilingualism in Foundation Phase Mathematics. In 2019 she began working as the Head of Mathematics for the Bala Wande project.
PM: Workbook Development
My first job in education publishing was as a curriculum developer and writer for the PROTEC World-of-Work course. That was 1994. Many years in the commercial education publishing sector honed skills from authoring, to editing and publishing. This broad-ranging experience has led to a deep understanding of the educational content development process and curriculum requirements.
I am grateful to have come full circle, back to working with an educational NPO. For me there is no more meaningful or fitting reason to put shoulder to the wheel. I work alongside the Funda Wande Production team, who happen to be a group of very accomplished and committed contributors to learning and making meaning.
Jermaine has over 21 years of print procurement and publishing experience and has freelanced for some of the major educational and trade publishers in the country.
His current role in the Funda Wande production team involves Print Procurement & Publishing production trafficking & sourcing freelance production consultants.
Ingrid has been a typesetter in the publishing industry since the early 80s. Her main focus has been the design and layout of educational material for various publishers. She is part of the production team at Funda Wande.
Claudine is part of the design team at Funda Wande which produces the educational material for print. She studied Financial Information Systems and planned to work in the IT sector. Things took a different turn though, and Claudine now has 25 years of design and typesetting experience and has freelanced for all the major educational and trade publishers in the country.
PM: Content & Training
Jolene was one of the first team members to join Funda Wande in July 2017. She started her career off in London working as a designer and layout artist for various newspapers and magazines. Her adventurous spirit took her to all corners of the earth volunteering and working at various organizations in Uganda, India, USA, Hong Kong, Ireland and the UK.
With a degree in Video Technology, filmmaking and telling stories is at the heart of who she is. Having gained experience in production on award-winning, international films, commercials and documentaries she has a knack for juggling a million balls in the air at the same time. At Funda Wande, she ensures the engine room keeps running smoothly with all operations and supporting the full Funda Wande team.
Senior Literacy Coordinator
Clare Verbeek is part of Funda Wande’s content development team. Clare has been involved in the education field in both rural and urban contexts since 1981. She has worked as a teacher, community educator and educational materials developer, and as an academic at the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town. Clare’s PhD was about teaching reading for meaning in mainstream South African schools.
Senior Literacy Specialist
Debbie was a lecturer at Wits until a few years ago, was part of the GPLMS project for a year and before that worked for many years for a literacy organisation, READ (Read, Educate and Develop).
Early literacy development was the topic of her PHD.
PM: University Training
Training at Funda Wande. In collaboration with the Centre for Social Development at Rhodes University, she has developed an Advanced Certificate in Foundation Phase Literacy Teaching.
A variety of open-source resources have been created as part of this project, including videos and an on-line App. Sarah is responsible for continuing the development of the Advanced Certificate and fully aligned Short Courses. She is also responsible for extending the use of the resources to other contexts and for advocating for the improvement of literacy teacher education.
Sarah has extensive experience in teacher education and curriculum development, and has taught at undergraduate, Honours and Masters level.
PM: Digital Resources & Media
Khanya Mpahlwa is all round creative i.e. Video Editor, Videographer and a Music Producer and has been contributing to this industry for more than 10 years.
He is currently working at Funda Wande producing educational videos for the South African Educational sector as a Video Editor and Videographer. Khanya has a lot of experience in narrative storytelling and in the past 6 years, he has been doing work for Companies and Foundations i.e. VW Qubeka, UN, Children Radio Foundation, Red Bull, Red Bull Amaphiko, Bill Gates and Melinda foundation, UCT GSB, Raymond Ackerman Academy, UNICEF etc.
IT & Media Support
Thina Daniel is a Filmmaker and Community Journalist, she has graduate as a documentary film making. In 2011 Thina attended the Big Fish School Documentary filmmaking she studied under the tutoring on Melanie Chart, and that is where she received her training to be film maker. In 2012 she received her first job in the industry working as an Office manager for an Organisation called StreetTalk and was soon promoted to working as an Editor for the organisation, she was selected to go to the United States to go accept an award behalf of the organisation.
She has also worked independently and one of the biggest jobs she has done independently was a job she did for the Robben Island Museum in 2018. Moreover, she has worked for the Big Fish School of Digital Film making and some of films she edited were nominated for festivals.
Thina is currently working for Funda Wande as an Video Editor.
As Community Journalist she was amongst the group of women who fought hard for the Social grants, and has continued to be a journalist for the community.
Vusumzi Mkhangeli is an E-Learning coordinator at Funda Wande, responsible for managing digital content on the Funda Wande App, WhatsApp chatbot and Website. His tasks extend to Translating and Editing text/ subtitles on videos and recording sound during Film shoots.
He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree - BA focused on Language and Communication at the University of the Western Cape. He is also part of the Desmond Tutu TB Centre (DTTC) Steering Committee at Stellenbosch University.
His fields of interests are Education and Community development.
Graduate Intern (e-Learning)
Ambeswa Mgandela is a Graduate Intern at Funda Wande. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree - BA focused on Geography, Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the University of the Western Cape.
She is also a cofounder of the Awakening Dreams Tutoring Initiative that aims to help learners from disadvantaged backgrounds to excel in their studies. Her interests are in digital literacy in Africa and environmental sustainability. She hopes to utelise her skills and expertise to further the Funda Wande mission.
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