Imagine learning real-life skills like paying tax, having to build a house, making internet payments, organising insurance – all during a normal school day! At many of our schools this is happening in Grade 5 and 6 classes. Curro learners are having fun while learning that income can depend on their behaviour and risks need to be managed. Decisions are part of life and the consequences of their decisions can be huge.
Real Life 4 Kids is an exciting 3D game that is played in the classroom in a marked city landscape for one term: the learners become employees, earn a salary for coming to school, open online bank accounts and make e-payments. They open businesses, pay tax, earn interest, purchase land, build a home, make investments, become involved in court cases, budget weekly for bus fare, community outreach and insurance payments – exposing them to real life.
Learners learn the rules of the road and get their driver’s licence. They can buy a hawker’s licence and sell homemade goods for cash, and take part in a live auction to purchase land. The class elects a mayor and councillors, and excursions are organised to banks, courts, factories, etc. Learners earn cash for good work and pay cash fines for incomplete work and misdemeanours. Their weekly salaries are paid online via EFT, and a blog site is available for educators and learners to discuss the game and their experiences.
The game has been easily assimilated into the normal curriculum, and a full online academic curriculum for the game itself is available. This curriculum includes the history of money and banking, the development of towns and cities, the electoral system, the stock exchange, the South African budget, and an introduction to South African law.
The website also contains worksheets and answers. Learners can download the game documents at school and at home.
This is an extremely powerful tool for introducing learners to the real world and how it works; they learn through experience.