Tag Archives: maths

Satellite broadcasting helps boost maths and science results

The launch of satellite broadcasting programs is going to make learning for young students undertaking mathematics substantially more interesting.

The programme was launched last week by the Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy and is one of many measures taken by department with the objective of enhancing upon the quality of teaching for grade 8 and 9 students.

The programme and service is going to be broadcast to individual high school specifically chosen by the department and will overlap with lesson to ensure that teachers can integrate the broadcast with their lessons. The broadcast will also be recorded for the benefit of students to revise what they have learnt in class.

15 schools were chosen for the pilot programme in February and from now on the broadcast will expand to over 385 schools who happen to be part of the Senior Secondary School Improvement Programme over the course of the year.

“We are aware of the fact that Gauteng’s education system has the task of producing graduates who are able to become the next generation of skilled workers, engineers, and managers the advanced industrial economy of our province requires if it is to continue to grow,” Creecy said.

The primary goal and objectives of the programme is to improve the overall quality of maths and science teaching available to students in the most disadvantaged schools and regions.

The use of technology in class is a global trend being employed to help bridge the gap of educational inequalities. The Gauteng education department is extremely enthusiastic with the new innovations which have been introduced and it brings the region in line with international trends.

Creecy stated that the launch of satellite broadcasting is not meant to replace teachers, rather it is just another teaching tool that can assist both students and teachers.


Satellite brodcasting boosts maths



Boosting matric pass rate

The satellite broadcasting programme is an extension of the Secondary School Improvement Programme (SSIP) which has raised the matric pass rate by 12 percent over the last 4 years.

According to results from the pilot program, the satellite broadcasts is exhibiting exceptional results and is designed to rapidly improve learner performance in maths and science for Grades 8 and 9.

Sphesihle Sithole (14), a Grade 9 learner at Ibhongo Secondary School, was quoted as saying that a large number of students are excited by the new programme and interventions and they are confident that everyone will pass maths with flying colors. Not only are students more confident about passing maths. in addition they find maths substantially more interesting as a result of the introduction of the satellite broadcasting.

Aside from the satellite broadcasts, learners and teachers are making use of other social media tools like Facebook, Mxit and Twitter together with landline and mobile phones so that they can communicate back to the central broadcast studio to ask questions and make comments.

The satellite platform also provides on-the-job training for class teachers who also attend further lessons in the afternoons. Teachers in the schools involved so far have been enthusiastic in their response to the programme as have district officials who are overseeing its implementation.

Source: SAnews.gov.za


South Africa needs to train more young scientists

Science and Technology Minister, Naledi Pandor says South Africa needs to produce young scientists.

Speaking at the launch of Gauteng Science Week at the University of Pretoria on Monday, Pandor said public awareness about science, engineering and technology is her department’s key priority.

“South Africa needs to train young scientists and the best place to find them is in our schools. Promoting public awareness is also important.

“For the youth of today to become the scientists of tomorrow we need to foster awareness among learners of the various careers that are available in the world of science, engineering, technology and innovation,” she said.

Pandor believes that science centres have a crucial role to play not just in facilitating partnerships, but also in strengthening grass-roots science awareness campaigns.

“This is particularly important for provinces such as the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga that unlike Gauteng and the Western Cape who do not have the benefit of housing some of our country’s leading universities and research facilities,” she said.

She said the task of taking science to all corners of the country is a huge one that no single individual or organisation can carry out alone.

The minister said if the country is to sustain a national effort and achieve the desired results; the nation should deliberately forge quality strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, both within and outside the government innovation system.

“The cooperation between the University of Pretoria, the staff of the science centre, the South African Air Force, the Air Force Museum, students, parents and private companies involved in engineering and the servicing of jet fighters is a positive development from which we can all learn valuable lessons.

“The task of nurturing a passion for science, engineering and technology is huge,” she said.

National Science Week is an opportunity for young people to explore science, engineering and technology.

To help young people make informed study choices, the department distributes thousands of booklets on science, engineering and technology careers annually.

This year, Pandor said they will distribute 50 000, while a further 20 000 will be distributed during the National Science Week.

Source: BuaNews, cs4fn.org, campusaccess.com, allvoices.com, stu.edu, cnq.ca


Maths and Science vs Morals and Values

Over the last few years South Africa has suffered what has become commonly known as the ‘Brain Drain’.  Many people we have helped to educate have left our shores for what they believe to be a brighter future elsewhere. Consequently we have been left with a shortage of professionally qualified people in a number of key sectors.

As one response, the Department of Education is on a drive to improve the maths and science qualifications of students in South Africa. As a result, most corporate donors are now focusing their funding only on projects that are directly related to maths and science, thus cutting out a huge section of the community.

The majority of students in this country do not believe that it is even worth finishing schooling career. They feel that there are very few job opportunities available to them, even with a matric certificate. To some it appears that crime has become big business and is often an easier way to make a living than by honest means.  Drug abuse also becomes a means of getting from day to day. They have no role models, and are very often young people heading up households because their parents are no longer around.

I believe that we need to teach our youth more about morals and values than maths and science. They need to learn life skills before they can qualify as doctors or engineers. They need to be made aware that they all have potential; they just need to be helped to achieve it. As many young people live in negative environments it becomes very easy to for them to say “I can’t do that”, when in fact they should be saying that they can do anything they put their minds to.

Unfortunately our current political situation does not offer very many positive role models. Our youth are not finding anything to aspire to or people they would like to emulate.

There are a number of organisations around that offer life skills training which could help young people. Outward Bound South Africa is one such organisation. Young people involved in life skills programmes are equipped with the character, will, values and self-believe to live their lives to the fullest and to constantly make the right choices. Through transforming individuals, we could ultimately transform whole communities.

Through life skills programmes, students are taught, through adventure, to face and overcome their fears. They do things that they never believed they could, or would, ever do in their lives. They see stars at night, listen to the quiet of the bush and watch the sunrise from a mountain top. These are all things many would never experience where they live and things that many of us take for granted. They climb mountains and abseil down, canoe across great expanses of water and build temporary structures that enable them to cross rivers.

Through these activities they learn not only perseverance, but that if they can complete them – activities that they would never have imagined doing in the first place – then there is very little in life that they cannot do. If they can get up at four o’clock in the morning to climb a mountain in the dark, why can’t they get up early to finish studying for important exams?  If they can hike 10 kilometres a day, why can they not make an effort to go to school every day?

They work as teams in these programmes and very quickly learn to see the importance of good team work and leadership qualities. They are taught that for every one of their actions there is a consequence – whether good or bad. If they take the wrong route around the mountain they may have to set up camp in the dark and cook their food by moonlight. This is a consequence of bad planning. Is that not what life is about?

How can we expect our students to all want to study maths and science when many of them can not even see any future for themselves? We need to teach them that each one of them can make a difference – for those that have the ability to go ahead and study at university level as well as those who can make a difference by setting up a vegetable garden for their community.

All the youth of our country have potential. They simply need to be made to realise this and to acknowledge that they are all better than they believe themselves to be. Once they have done this, they will be far better prepared to enrol in maths and science courses that may never before have entered their realm of thought.

So donors please don’t only focus on the end result. Help us to get our youth to the stage where they are ready to face greater challenges head on rather than just getting from one day to the next.

Julie Staub is the funding coordinator at Outwardbound

Source: ngopulse.org