I stand before you absolutely humbled by this award on behalf of my staff, donors who believe in us, teachers who participate and learners who engage.
Social entrepreneurs are disrupters of a kind, big time dreamers. Their life story is woven into their dream even when there may be deep tears in the fabric of their journey the dreamers believe in their cause to a level of madness. At the Maths Centre, this commitment pushes us towards truly transformative solutions for all our learners and not just the privileged few. The massive skills gap can be reduced through integrated Maths, Science, Technology solutions woven into entrepreneurship education in the very heart of the school curriculum every classroom moment of every day.
Maths Centre draws all role players into our design charting a map inclusive of all our learners for their potential journey and not just the push towards university education. Mathematics, a tough discipline, does not come easy to anyone. But if we engage with this discipline with respect and honour for the subject and the children it becomes fun, exciting, inspiring and opens up a whole world of careers which are fit for purpose for the future. In 2014, the Maths Centre supported 520 schools, 174 695 pupils and 4 268 teachers. In addition, the centre’s grade 12s scored pass rates of 81.3% in maths and 85.5% in physical science, which enabled them to access tertiary education. 350 + achieved distinctions, one blind learner is determined to become an actuarial scientist, a child with severe disability is studying engineering.
Were it not for funding constraints, a ball and chain story, Maths Centre has the capacity to go to scale and quadruple the numbers quoted above. Unfortunately, despite proving solid returns on investment, it takes a lot of time and energy to convince partners to invest in us.
In the middle of the chaos of societal issues erupting like volcanoes, diluted, anachronistic learning for future potential and usage, children’s rights are being trampled upon every day. Education must be designed such that it is apparent if our schools can transform in terms of maximising advantages for all children in the global economy. Transformation in education, a very fashionable and politically correct word can hide informing, conforming, or even deforming education.
Only transformative Education can make a dent in the mountain of loss of human potential. Einstein said humans do not use even 10% of their brain – Here is a different take on 10%. Can you imagine how closer we would be to equality if just 10% more children were to realise their full potential in entrepreneurial, engineering and artisanal skills. There is no energy bigger than the energy of gravity, light, water, fire, and children and young adults. Let us harness just 10% of that energy and make that energy work for all us now and for all our tomorrows.