Success: maths learning tool takes off

2009-04-13 00:00

FRAXION Master, a maths learning tool to make fractions fun for primary school pupils, is getting ready for take-off.

Creator Vusi Ndlela said a launch party is in the pipeline and he has The Witness to thank for it.

The former teacher from Sobantu said since his invention was featured in The Witness, he has been receiving calls from people wanting to lend a helping hand.

“The response has been overwhelming. From people just wanting to offer emotional support to someone trying to hook me up with useful people, the gestures have been great and appreciated.”

He said a local tooling company has even agreed to be the sole manufacturer of his product, free of labour costs, while the process of finalising the use of Fraxion Master in KwaZulu-Natal schools is at the procurement stage.

“It feels good. It’s like your baby learning to walk,” said Ndlela.

In fact, he now has a bigger and better classroom version of his gadget, which includes percentages and decimals.

This comes after he approached the Quality Assurance (QA) section of the Education Department for help with implementation.

While QA was impressed by the invention, the major concern was the fact that the Fraxion Master’s success was dependent on the total involvement of teachers.

“Naturally we planned on addressing the training of teachers. But unfortunately teachers have the tendency of being comfortable with the old way of doing things. We did not want a situation where the instrument is just given to kids.”

Ndlela then came up with the classroom version, a concept he developed in a week, which he believes teachers will use in their classrooms before later introducing the pupil model to the children.

Ndlela has also made inroads in the areas of retail, marketing and sponsorships.

He is in talks with stationer Walton’s for Fraxion Master to be widely available to the public.

“They have actually invited me to a week-long teachers’ conference in August where I will be given a slot to showcase it.”

The Association for Mathematics of SA has invited him to present a paper at its conference in June.

“I’m also in talks with the Northern and Eastern Cape Departments of Education … But the immediate plan is raising sponsorship to invite relevant stakeholders for the launch. The bigger picture would be developing this into a business, where we can recruit and bring unemployed graduates aboard in what I hope to be a problem-solving institution for education,” he said.

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