Les Matriculants Mdantsane excel in maths and physical sciences through thick and thin


Despite the enormous challenges faced by the Matrix Class of 2020, learners benefiting from the Promaths program in Mdantsane Township, east London, seized the opportunity to achieve outstanding performance in math and physical science.

The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa has disrupted academic learning on an unprecedented scale, with the strict lockdown introduced in March of last year proving particularly trying for subjects preparing for their very final exams. important.

Yet, as it has successfully done in previous years, the Promaths program at the Kutlwanong Center for Maths, Science and Technology (“Kutlwanong”) has not only succeeded in guiding learners through troubled waters, but also delivered results. exceptional in these two “gateways”. ” topics.

The program is designed to accelerate high performance outcomes among grade 10-12 learners in previously deprived areas of South Africa and, for many years, has had an excellent track record in the Mdantsane cohort.

As was the case with learners and institutions across the rest of the country, the Promaths 2020 cohort was forced to cope with the effects of the pandemic, and for many this included the emotional trauma of losing loved ones.

Many parents and guardians have also lost their jobs, while some households have suffered from domestic violence and other forms of violence.

Covid-19 also meant that Promaths centers had to rethink their strategies while recognizing that internet connectivity and web access in townships and rural areas remains a huge problem in South Africa.

But by using a combination of online and face-to-face teaching sessions, Promaths was able to keep learners firmly on track, and also recover the sessions that had been lost due to the lockdown.

The result for the Mdantsane cohort exceeded what even the program facilitators would have imagined.

The group of 60 learners from the Eastern Cape recorded 100% pass rates in math and physical sciences, but more impressively, they achieved overall averages of 63% and 67% in these two subjects respectively.

There were also 13 honors for mathematics and 22 astounding honors for physical sciences among the learners of Promaths of Mdantsane.

Remembering that 2020 has been a year like no other in recent history, some of the results are nothing short of spectacular.

Likhona Mnyamana, from Khulani Commercial High School in Mdantsane, scored near perfect 98% in math and 97% in physical science, while another Khulani learner, Faith Tonnie, scored 86% in math and 90% in physical sciences.

At Wongalethu High School, located in Unit 2 of Mdantsane, Lipelo Morris left school with 86% for mathematics and 91% for physical sciences.

Kelly Mugonera, of Sandisiwe High School, also scored 80% for mathematics and 87% for physical sciences.

To measure how well Promaths learners benefit from the program, in the 2019 National Senior Certificate exams, the Eastern Cape average pass rate for math and physical science was 41.8% and 70.3% respectively.

By comparison, Mdantsane’s Promath learners reached 98% and 99.8% respectively.

This is the kind of success that Kutlwanong CEO Tumelo Mabitsela has grown accustomed to over the past 15 years thanks to the tireless efforts of the Promaths team who, during that time, have pushed over 22,000 learners to higher peaks.

Mabitsela also attributes this success to private sector partnerships with funders like the Datatec Educational and Technology Foundation, which has been funding the Mdantsane Promaths group for 10 years.

The Foundation aims to improve education, especially in “STEM” (science, technology, engineering and

mathematics), in disadvantaged communities in South Africa.

“Besides the lack of vital skills that math and science education fills, many people overlook the daily real-world needs that these vital subjects play in our ordinary lives, such as helping us solve problems, or reason logically. , or question our thinking, ”says Mabitsela.

“Ultimately our dream as an organization is to see disadvantaged black learners rise through the ranks and pursue careers in engineering, finance, science, math and technology. Nothing makes me happier than when I hear from professionals in these fields who have already benefited from one of our additional course programs.

Maya Makanjee, president of the Datatec Educational and Technology Foundation, believes it is vital to invest in organizations like Kutlwanong that work directly to meet STEM needs in South Africa.

“Mathematics education faces many challenges in our country, but we believe that with long-term thinking, consistency and partnerships, we can make a significant difference,” she says.

With the growing demand for STEM-based career professionals, the deepening crisis in math education in South Africa desperately requires creative interventions.

Using a multi-pronged approach, Kutlwanong’s Promaths Learning Program offers additional math and science lessons to grade 10, 11 and 12 students. Promaths also focuses on teacher development by providing educational tools to help educators deliver lessons in a more engaging and memorable way.

The content of the curricula is aligned with the curriculum of the national Ministry of Education, so that learners are able to practice in a highly relevant and appropriate manner. And the Promaths model focuses on both mastery of theory and repeated practice of content, with routine testing done to ensure students have grasped one concept before moving on to the next.

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