Our impact and stories
Talk of an education crisis in Africa is not unreasonable. The opportunities for progress that young populations present seem less plausible when contrasted with the reality that large numbers of students are leaving school without the necessary knowledge and skills to enter the global economy.
Anticipated improvements in education over the past 20 years have failed to materialize, compounded by socioeconomic, legislative, and infrastructural challenges.
On top of inadequate education systems, today’s youth must address a multitude of other socioeconomic predicaments caused by preceding generations. The question should be whether current approaches to education in gateway subjects like mathematics and science simply pass on what we already know or actually equip and empower students to find solutions to the bigger problems.
Education departments in underperforming African countries face significant pressure to better their math and science rankings against educational frontrunners like Singapore, Finland, and Malaysia, often pursuing costly reform strategies. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are often called upon to support this process. The need for external help is clear when only 3 percent of ninth-grade students in South Africa are achieving at least 50 percent in mathematics. Despite the gravity of such results, NGOs are aiming to do more than just support governments in improving education.
Johannesburg, 30 March 2015 – Sharanjeet Shan of Maths Centre, a Johannesburg based non-profit organisation that strives to improve Maths, Science and Technology education in South Africa, has been named by the Schwab Foundation as an awardee of the 2015 Social Entrepreneur of the Year. Shan is one of 33 social entrepreneurs across the globe who have been recognised for their ability to effect practical implementation of scalable solutions in the face of social challenges in their respective countries.
Maths Centre has a 30 year history of creating an impact in the South African education landscape. Despite the South African Government having spent 7% of GDP and over 20% of government budget on education in 2013, the above-average spend on education often does not translate into high quality education. In light of this, Maths Centre focuses on the heart of the solution to the South African education crisis; targeting programs towards teachers and students in some of the most poorly-resourced primary and high schools in the country.
Finsch Diamond Mine (FDM) together with the Maths Centre of South Africa recently hosted the first of the finals of the Maths Science and Technology (MST) Challenge for Techno Girls and Boys at Daniëlskuil High School. This follows the launch of the programme in the Kgatelopele Local Municipal area late last year. The schools that form part of the programme is Kuilsville High School and Daniëlskuil High School.
Maths Centre Western Cape advocacy campaign, Share and Shine took place on Friday, 24 October 2014 at Protea Park Primary. The Share and Shine event was in collaboration with District North. The objective of the event was for teachers from 18 schools from District North to share Mathematics content by exhibiting and demonstrating various topics in the content areas. Best practices were shared in the form of lesson planning, addressing pertinent topics, planning of learner-centred activities, planning assessment and the use of resources. This was also the request from many educators in the District.