Centre supports EDUCATION

2016-02-23 06:00
 Pupils from Sithengile Secondary School a beneficiary of the CASME Science Programme participating in the Guinness World Record attempt for the largest practical science lesson.  Photo: supplied

Pupils from Sithengile Secondary School a beneficiary of the CASME Science Programme participating in the Guinness World Record attempt for the largest practical science lesson. Photo: supplied

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THE Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME) in Pinetown registered as Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) focuses on teacher professional development and support through training and provision of resources for science and mathematics teaching, in under-resourced and previously disadvantaged communities.

CASME's chief operations officer Henré Benson said: “CASME operates throughout the schooling sector from foundation phase to Grade 12 and throughout South Africa. The centre was established in 1985 and is a well-recognised and respected education development organisation with a long history in the development and delivery of school maths and science interventions in South Africa.

“CASME implements a range of interventions in support of the Department of Basic Education. The organisation does not have an inclination or capacity to take over the work of government, rather we seek to complement government priorities primarily by strengthening the capacity of teachers to teach with compassion and add value to the education system and by assisting pupils to learn better.”

CASME has capacity through a well-established network of contractors and implements programmes across all nine provinces.

“At a national level, in partnership with the Vodacom Foundation, CASME served as the service provider leading the mathematics and science teacher training and support across all nine pilot ICT Education Centres.

“At provincial level, CASME has served as the lead service provider in a KwaZulu-Natal learner tuition programme which operated across all 12 Districts, employing about 150 trainers in 50 tuition centres. CASME is currently responsible for education projects across South Africa involving about 400 schools and some 1600 teachers.”

He explained that many schools, mostly in disadvantaged communities, lack the physical resources to teach science in a way that is accessible, hands-on and meaningful.

“One response to this challenge has been to establish six local education centres in partnership with the Department of Basic Education and Science Centres to provide an equipment loan service. These centres are situated in KwaZulu-Natal and serve local school communities in Msinga, Pinetown, Ndwedwe, Richards Bay, Phungashe and Pietermaritzburg. Resource centres are also used as workshop venues where we conduct curriculum-based experiments for physical and natural Sciences.”

CASME in partnership with MAHLE recently hosted a momentous event by bringing together 2104 pupils, teachers, UKZN students and staff to conduct the World's Largest Practical Science Lesson.

“The attempt caught media attention who descended on the Durban Exhibition Centre to catch a piece of the action. The successful attempt was a year in the making and is testament to what CASME with its partners is able to achieve. Most of the schools participating in the attempt are beneficiaries of other CASME interventions to support Mathematics and Science teaching and learning. Now that the attempt is behind us and its back to the classroom for CASME where the work of supporting teachers continues.”

For more information phone 031 826 2508.

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