I am Lucky Dliwayo, a student at the University of Johannesburg currently studying the bachelor of education (B.Ed.), first year. I started attending extra classes provided by Maths Centre (AEL) when the trainer Mr. Shepard Chigogo introduced himself to us, that is when I was in grade 10 and I attended the extra classes for three years (grade 10-12). During this time (grade 10), I could not see the importance of these classes, so I was not fully attending the classes. My Mathematics and Physical Sciences marks were poor I was only scoring above 50% but below 60%. When I was in grade 11 that is where I started to realize that having good results, leads to good opportunities and my life orientation teacher used to tell us that our grade 11 results are the ones you are going to use to apply in tertiary institutions and that is where I had to choose the career that I am currently working on. That set pressure on me and some of my class mates and we had to study hard to obtain good results but it was not enough.
When I was in grade 11 we were given timetables for Maths Centre extra classes. That is where I started to attend regularly. Throughout the year I could see positive changes in my results for both Mathematics and Physical Sciences. I never received a percentage below 80% in mathematics, and physical sciences was gradually improving from 50% to 60%. These great improvements provided me with great in interest in wanting to carry on attending these classes because they were beneficial. While I was in grade 11 we use to skip one week not attending because on the week skipped grade 10s would be attending. I took that as an opportunity to help my class mates with mathematics and the trainer would help me with material to use. And that really built my confidence and I was inspired by the trainer with the methods of teaching he was using, as a result I am doing bachelor of education (B.Ed.). As I continued with programme in grade 12 my Mathematics was consistent and my Physical Sciences were continuously improving time to time. On my final statement I earned two distinctions which are Mathematics and Physical Sciences with 92% and 81% respectively. Those marks helped me to secure a bursary
Attending these classes was not only about improving one’s results, but learn different skills from every individual that is part of the programme, learn not to depend on the teacher most of the time and meet the teacher half-way, effective communication with other colleagues as we had to work as groups and had to present our work to other group members when one or group has something to share, problem solving was implemented as the two subjects aims to make one to take action for every reaction, reason out with life situations or problems. Most of the activities were done by learners than the trainer and the trainer would help us where we face challenges. I personally learnt some skills from the trainer, ways he presents his lessons, skills he employs in the lessons. I am now applying them in some organizations I am involved in and they have an effect on the learners that I assist.
Working with the Maths Centre meant a lot to me due to reasons mentioned above. It would be great if it was possible to have such classes again in the tertiary institutions from the Maths Centre helping upcoming teachers and others professions. If it’s possible to give back to the Maths Centre I would offer my time assisting learners in the programme when they are attending keep the organization going and I believe that will need someone who is qualified or experienced.
I really appreciate The effort made by Maths Centre and I would like them to continue supporting underperforming schools and other schools as your mission says “To provide high impact support to the South African education system using proven methods and resources to develop effective teachers and promote measurable improvement of learner performance in Maths, Science and Technology” and your ethos “To correct, restore, enhance and simplify teaching and learning for maximum impact”.