Our impact and stories
It is my pleasure to inform you that one of the grade 9 English learner of 2014 (Boipelo) who was at Tawana wrote an essay that came number one in the Free State province. She has now been nominated to represent the Free State in Johannesburg at national level. Confident (the Tawana grade 9 English teacher) and Lennox ( the Maths Centre Trainer) are proud of this achievement. The Tawana principal has requested Lennox to come during her staff meeting today to share the good news with the other staff members as well as formally presenting the awards that Confidence received during block training for being the best ANA performer in 2014.
Mathematics was born in Africa. A Notched calendar stick over 35000 years
old which has been discovered recently in the Lebombo Mountains; is the oldest mathematical arte fact known. Written mathematics had first been found in Africa, in the papyri of the pyramid-builders of ancient Egypt-between
four and five thousand years ago. Mathematics reached its full maturity as a rigorous axiomatic subject in Alexandria over two thousand years ago.
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.