Closing the maths and science achievement gap can be difficult, particularly as learners have different needs, learn in different ways, and face a range of diverse challenges. Teachers often want the best for their students but may lack support. Interventions include online tuition, supplementary teaching, coaching, communities of practice, holiday programmes, after-school programmes and more.
Telkom and FOTAD help girls with maths and science
The Future of the African Daughter Project (FOTAD), in partnership with the Telkom Foundation, aims to have girls from previously disadvantaged areas matriculating with maths and science subjects, and have girls pursuing further tertiary education in maths and/or science-related fields.
Sanlam’s Blue Ladder Schools improve maths results
Sanlam’s Blue Ladder Schools project partners with schools, educators and communities across the country to improve maths tuition, nutrition, and upgrade key facilities. In 2018, the project partnered with 75 under-resourced schools to assist with improving maths competency. The project benefitted around 72 000 learners with its whole-school approach. The project has helped to raise learners’ maths results by an average of 13% in primary schools and 18% in secondary schools in Gauteng, and increased teacher performance by 17% in secondary and 8% in primary schools in Gauteng, and by 17% in the Western Cape. In KZN, a 10% higher maths pass rate was achieved.
BRIDGE aims to increase maths and science graduates
BRIDGE’s Maths and Science Learner Support Community of Practice supports learners, teachers and schools in maths and science. They bring together programme implementers and key investors to increase the number and quality of maths and science graduates in the country.
North-West University empowers disadvantaged school children
North-West University’s Ikateleng has been empowering school children from disadvantaged backgrounds for 31 years. It provides supplementary teaching in mathematics, economics, business studies, accounting, life science, physical science and English to high-school students from Grades 10-12.
CASME learner programmes address problem topics
The Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME) offers weekend and school holiday programmes to address problematic topics in collaboration with their teachers. Their approach is to address prior knowledge and skills gaps and therefore advocate a cohort-based programme running over three years, from Grades 10-12. They also introduce ICT resources into their learner support initiatives. At primary school level, they run Mathematics Olympiad programmes for Grade 4-7 learners. They have around 200 schools participating.
Primestars EduCate assists disadvantaged youths with revision
Primestars EduCate is a nationwide matric maths and science revision programme, made up of 10 pre-recorded revision sessions, five in maths and five in science. The sessions cover the entire curriculum and are aimed at preparing disadvantaged South African youth for their matric exams. The programme is sponsored by the Capitec Foundation, SASRIA, Telkom and Bidvest Steiner.
Opportunities for children living in Alexandra
The Alexandra Education Committee (AEC): Saturday school programmes aim to prepare Grade 7 learners for high school, while their holiday programmes provide extra lessons in English, maths and science to Grade 10-12 bursars (the AEC’s primary focus is to raise funds to provide bursaries for quality education for disadvantaged children living in Alexandra. AEC sponsors 176 children, paying for their school fees, transport, school uniforms, textbooks, stationery and one meal a day. St Mary’s School also runs a Saturday school programme for learners in Alexandra and surrounding communities – learners from five schools attend the Ikusasa Lethu Programme for Grades 10-12, which enhances learning and assists scholars to access tertiary education. Maths and science are two of the subjects offered.
Thusanani Foundation supports high-school learners
The Thusanani Foundation supports Grade 9-12 rural and township high-school learners as well as high-school drop-outs with the aim of improving the pass rate in STEM subjects, as well as improving young people’s attitudes towards maths and science. The foundation offers Winter and Spring School Revision Programmes as well as study guides and additional learning materials.
Investec’s Promaths provides extra tuition
Maths and science learners in Grades 10-12 at selected schools across South Africa benefit from Promaths, a partnership between Investec and the Kutlwanong Maths, Science and Technology Centre. The programme provides extra tuition in maths and science to high-school learners showing potential in these subjects.
Numeric offers after-school programmes
Numeric partners with 36 schools in Cape Town and Johannesburg, with 85 active coaches and 2 000 participating learners. Programmes are targeted at learners in Grades 6, 7 and 8 and the one-year programme covers arithmetic and pre-algebra. These programmes are not aligned with the curriculum, but focus on building maths intensively and rapidly from the ground up.
Zenex Foundation helps disadvantaged learners
Zenex Foundation’s Mathematics, Science and English High School Project aims to develop schools with potential into high-functioning schools that offer quality maths, science and English teaching and learning to disadvantaged learners. The ISASA Mathematics & English Learner Support Project seeks to turn poor-functioning public schools into high-functioning independent schools – to date, it has implemented in 22 schools in KwaZulu-Natal. It offers bursaries, extra academic support, mentoring and psycho-social support to qualifying learners.