Lifeline for maths and science students

2017-06-28 06:02

THE chronic underperformance of high school learners in Mathematics and Science is envisaged to be a thing of the past thanks to the newly established Kwakhanya Mathematics and Sciences Centre in Motherwell.

The project, founded by education enthusiast Masixole Swartbooi opened its door on June 3 this year, with the offer of extra classes to grade eight and nine learners.

“Initially I started tutoring Mathematics in 2012, but back then I used to work from home.

“After realising that many young people had a love for the subject but were struggling with it, I decided to approach schools so as to get a centre where I could then start formal extra classes,” explained Swartbooi.

He added that the project focused mainly on grade eight and nine learners purely because it will allow for an early arrest of the problem and militate against the often hurried approach normally used in schools.

“Extra classes are always offered to matric learners and the lower grades are often neglected.”

Despite receiving many rejections from the schools approached, Swartbooi’s proposal was finally approved this year.

With more than 50 learners now enrolled at the centre, classes take place on Saturday mornings at Vulumzi High School.

These classes are conducted by two veteran teachers, with an accumulated 50 years’ experience in the disciplines of Mathematics and Science.

According to educator Joyce Msutwana, recognising the common issues that lead to failure in these subjects can help prevent it from happening.

“Proper steps need to be taken to mitigate the problem.”

Msutwana explained that some of the major reasons for pupils failing these subjects is the failure to seek help when needed and the scarcity of teachers.

“Teachers ought to identify struggling learners and employ intervention strategies such as requiring learners to attend review sessions or calling parents,” said Msutwana.

Swartbooi concluded that they wish to expand the project throughout the district with the intention of improving the province’s pass rate in the future.

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