Maths project shows improved results

2016-10-19 06:00
DIRK COETZEE (right, back), principal of the Lerethlabetse Primary School, with learners who attended the My Maths Buddy One Book One Learner project.  Photo: Supplied

DIRK COETZEE (right, back), principal of the Lerethlabetse Primary School, with learners who attended the My Maths Buddy One Book One Learner project. Photo: Supplied

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THE broad scope of Mathematics and its far-reaching importance in life has been re-emphasised through the My Maths Buddy One Book One Learner Project. This project is an initiative by Education Africa, a non-profit organisation.

The project initiator has taken up the challenge of bringing the Maths standard out of the doldrums and up to an acceptable level through educating learners in primary and secondary schools about ways of mastering Mathematics.

Teresa Russell, project campaign manager, says over 350 workshops have been held, reaching more than 5 500 learners and more than 800 Maths teachers in over 100 schools.

She says the project followed after findings that South Africa was the worst in terms of the standard of Mathematics compared to the Western world.

“The project has proven that the understanding of the language of Maths is the key to changing the condition.

“The project provides workshops for Maths teachers and learners, utilising the highly successful My Maths Buddy Maths dictionary. To date, it has schools raising their maths results, in some cases from 5% to 20% in a matter of weeks,” says Russell.

She says as a result of recent interventions in the Free State and Northern Cape, 80% of learners at the selected schools have reported improved marks.

“And 50% of the learners found that the Maths teachers’ explanations are better, clearer and more understood since the introduction of My Maths Buddy,” says Russell.

In the Free State, intensive and basic Mathematics workshops were conducted at selected schools, namely the Kaelang Secondary School in Bloemfontein, as well as the Koffiefontein Combined School and the Lerethlabetse Primary School in Koffiefontein.

The importance of the Mathematics initiative in unlocking learners’ potential has seen the University of the Free State’s (UFS) School Partnership Project also run a pilot project for the gr. 9’s at the Kaelang Secondary School in Bloemfontein.

“The UFS Schools Partnership Project focusses on improving Maths and Science education by empowering the teachers through mentors. We are constantly on the lookout for supplementary projects to assist our endeavours.

“Since all the learners in most of our project schools study in a second or third language, the understanding of the subject language is a big hurdle. My Maths Buddy is a wonderful way to assist learners in this regard and will surely lead to improved marks and more learners continuing with Mathematics in gr. 10,” said Hercules Dreyer of the UFS Schools Partnership Project.

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