School of Mathematics, Statistics & Computer Science

UKZN-Facilitated Mathematics Support Programme for High School Learners

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More than 300 learners across South Africa participated in the Mthethwamatics Teach the Nation (TTN) programme, an online mathematics support event with tuition provided by maths boffins from various education institutions.

The programme was co-ordinated by a UKZN team led by mathematics lecturer and Director of the Mthethwamatics Movement Dr Simo Mthethwa and members of the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science (CAES) Public Relations team.

The event included tuition on subjects and important aspects from the Grades 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 curriculums, including Algebraic Expressions and Equations; Equations and Inequalities; Patterns, Sequences and Series; Functions and Relationships; Functions and Inverse Functions; Geometry of Straight Lines; Analytical Geometry; Euclidean Geometry (Circle Theorems); Geometry of 2D & 3D Objects; Euclidean Geometry [Problem Solving]; Geometry (Similarity Theorem) and Counting and Probability.

The intense and informative programme was presented by mathematics experts, teachers and aspiring mathematicians including UKZN’s Dr H Sithole Mthethwa, Dr Sivuyile Mgobhozi, Ms Nomfundo Gabuza, and Mr Philani Majozi, as well as Mr Thami Vezi of Inanda Seminary, Mr Andrew Khomo of Wits University, Mr Gcwetha Nkosi of the Adriaan Academy, Mr Ntokozo Nzima of the North West University, and Mr Awonke Nqayiya of the Nelson Mandela University.

The one-week mathematics support programme was well attended each day. Dr Tanja Reinhardt (aka Dr T) of the Science Technology Education Centre (STEC) presented her fun-filled science experiment show which left learners wanting more.

The Mthethwamatics Movement was started by Dr Simo Mthethwa and involves outreach teacher workshops and generally educating society about mathematics as a concept, subject and career path.

Mthethwamatics programmes include Teach The Nation (TTN) – online mathematics lessons on problematic topics relating to the school curriculum; Careers In Mathematics (CIM) – a project that focuses on educating the society at large about careers in mathematics, and a Virtual Mathematics Competition (VMC) – the aim of which is to educate society about important mathematical concepts.

The programme closed with lucky draws sponsored by the CAES Public Relations Division.

The presentations and additional exercises were emailed to all the participating learners allowing them to revise and practice what they had learned.

The programme was well received by participants one of whom commented: ‘The lessons were extremely informative with productive exercises. Thank you and I hope these programmes continue.’

Said Dr Simo Mthethwa: ‘It was an excellent one-week programme. Presenters delivered very well and learners were interactive across all grades. Thanks to the parents who joined in. We will consider organising more of these online lessons as requested. Thanks to everybody who supported us.’

Added Nqayiya: ‘As one of the presenters, I found the TTN programme very informative and practical, and especially important at a time when learners are asking for extra lessons in mathematics. I believe the learners who attended benefited enormously.’

Words: Leena Rajpal

Photographs: Supplied