Intervention measures to help learners of the Greenpoint Primary School with their struggles in Mathematics have been welcomed by teachers.
Three teachers of the school and approximately 85 Gr. 3 learners underwent the My Maths Buddy: One Book, One Learner project’s workshop on Friday (04/08).
This workshop focused on making Mathematics understandable and improving learner performance.
The project, in partnership with the South African Mathematics Foundation initiative, sees education as the key area needed to stimulate the economy.
Two other local schools, the St Patric’s College (CBC) and the Boichoko Primary School, benefited from the workshops which were presented by the author of the My Maths Buddy dictionary, Paul Sondergaard, over a period of four days.
Emphasis was put on a study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which found that Mathematics results directly impact the economic well-being of a nation, which reflects in the GDP.
The organisation saw the opportunity to empower more professionals and specialists in the field as a contribution to a growing economy.
“They showed, based on their investigation, that when Mathematics results are steadily declining, the country has a steadily declining economy. In those countries where Math results are good, the economy was healthy and growing.
“I am not saying that competency in Mathematics is the only reason, but it has a significant effect on any economy,” said Sondergaard.
According to the author, the book has been a massive success, producing incredible results in the passrate over the past four years of the campaign.
He added that several learners who were struggling in Maths ended up studying in related fields at tertiary level.
“Before working with them, about 6 000 learners could not even answer the question as to what Mathematics means and the purpose of it,” he said.“That basically shows that understanding every subject is based on the language.”
Sondergaard said they work with the Maths Foundation and are available to work with schools, but need corporate businesses to get on board for help with sponsorships.
“However, some of the schools can afford to pay for the services themselves,” he said.“In this regard, Petra Diamonds sponsored the Greenpoint and Boichoko Primary school workshops.”
According to Veronica Daniels, Tanya Cilliers and Caroline Coetzee-Frans, teachers who attended the workshop, the learners were provided with a booklet that helps to equip them with Mathematic literacy.
“This is a real breakthrough for us all because, by knowing the terms, they will be able to understand Maths better,” Daniels said.
She added that the book, initially a tool for learners from Gr. 3 to Gr. 12, is in Afrikaans. As Afrikaans is a home language for many of the learners, this is an advantage.
According to them, the intervention measures will continue to be put in place.
“It will keep becoming easier for them to do Maths, because they understand the language,” Cilliers said.
- Sondergaard urges schools to visit www.mymathsstudy.co.za to book their services.