The programme was designed for Leaving Cert Maths students who are not able to access traditional grinds like so many other students can and do in Ireland today.
Applications open for scholarships to a 10-week online exam preparation course designed for Leaving Cert Maths students. One student from each of the 26 counties of Ireland chosen by selection panel.
This is the first initiative of its kind and is being offered through a partnership between jumpAgrade and Folens and is targeted at students who cannot access additional support outside of the classroom such a ‘grinds’.
Of the hundreds of students that use the jumpAgrade service on a weekly basis, half of all these students come from less fortunate backgrounds or underrepresented groups. The ‘Equality of Education’ initiative began when their local Youth Service reached out to the Limerick startup in its first year. Rather than passing any costs on to those families, the company sourced corporate sponsorship, and was able to work with that group of students in the run-up to exams. With that, the Equality of Education initiative was born and jumpAgrade have gone on to win the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award for 2019 on the back of this.
JumpAgrade Co-Founder & CEO David Neville said: “It was at that point that we realised that this wasn’t just about how we could improve the effectiveness of grinds or support outside of the classroom,” says David Neville, jumpAgrade Co-Founder & CEO, “There was a much bigger societal problem at play, and a far greater opportunity to have a lasting impact on the lives of the students we work with. The growing ‘grinds culture’ was leaving students behind, and we decided to be part of the solution rather than adding to the problem”.
The knock-on effect of greater opportunities for young people to achieve and progress in education is huge. In some of the most affluent parts of Ireland, progression rates from post-primary to third level are 100%. In some of the lowest income areas like Ballinacurra Weston in Limerick, progression rates are as low as 3%.
There are national and international directives for widening access to education. “Access to Quality Childcare, Education and Health Services” is National Strategic Outcome 10 on Project Ireland 2040 – National Development Plan 2018-2027 (Project 2040). The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Number 4 on Education is to “Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.” With tailwinds increasing in support of education access initiatives, jumpAgrade and Folens plan to kick-start a number of other programmes through this partnership.
Who is this for?
While the financial barrier is the most common, there are also geographical, personal, medical or other barriers that students face when seeking additional support preparing for exams. These are all factors that the selection panel will consider when choosing the awardees. The call for applications is open to all students across Ireland from the 13th of January and will close the 31st of January. It is open to those that will be sitting the Leaving Certificate Maths exam in June 2020. It is available for students sitting either the Higher Level or Ordinary Level paper. It is open to students of all levels of ability and confidence.
Folens CEO Andrew Miller said: “As part of Folens Giving we are always looking for initiatives that can help and support children on their education journey. With the jumpAgrade Maths scholarships we have a great opportunity to give students across the country the extra support they may be looking for.”
The lucky students awarded the scholarship will go through a 10-week online exam preparation course designed for Leaving Cert Maths. 26 students, one from each county of Ireland, will be chosen by the selection panel to receive a scholarship for the course. This will allow each student to work with their own jumpAgrade teacher each week. Every teacher that works with jumpAgrade has experience correcting State Exams. Each week, the students will complete their own personal assignment, submit photos of their work and get video feedback from their teacher explaining where they went wrong and how to improve. The 10 weeks will also be supplemented by “Learning Snacks” where expert teachers break down specific topics or problem areas for all students on the programme. Applications can be made here.
In the first of this partnership’s efforts to make educational support available to all students, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award Winners jumpAgrade are building on their work with organisations like DCU and UCC Access Programmes, Community Partnerships like Dublin South City Partnership, Empower and Ballyfermot Chapelizod Partnership, Youth Work Ireland, and many more. The initiative aligns with Folens Giving to support initiatives that make a difference in the lives of school children. This programme is being run by jumpAgrade, with sponsorship provided by Folens.
How to Apply
Students can complete their application form here.
There is also an option for a teacher, parent, guardian, family member or friend to apply on behalf of a student they feel deserves to be awarded a scholarship for this programme.
After following the application link, applicants are prompted to fill out an application form which asks for a paragraph on what they believe makes them the student that should be awarded this Scholarship.
Applications open now, and will close on the 31st of January
Students can apply here.