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Executive Summary - The Need
As we celebrate 18 years in a New Democratic South Africa many remain disenfranchised. Among the most severely affected are the youth. Many of these youth have difficulties attending school. Of those who are able to attend school subjects such as mathematics, science, and accounting are shunned. Historically, students have found these subjects difficult due in part to their fear of calculations, computations, fractions, geometry, algebra, and problem solving.
In a world that is advancing at the speed of light in terms of technology, mathematics must be taught differently to produce a society capable of compensating for the skills shortage. Moreover, mathematics is the mother of all sciences and is necessary for those students who aspire to be doctors, engineers, architects, accountants, IT, or actuaries.
A poor grasp of mathematics will keep South Africa dependent on foreign nationals to provide specialized skills. However, if learners are exposed to an intense level of mathematics at a younger age, not only will their proficiency in the subject increase but their confidence will soar as they grasp an understanding of this exact science.
It is my intention to establish a mathematics intervention program at the Senior Phase level in South African schools. Three schools will be targeted in Tembisa for a pilot program and two more will be added in the subsequent weeks. These five schools have been chosen because they are no fee schools, previously disadvantaged, and the principals of these schools have a proven track record and are dedicated professionals who have pledged their support.
Senior Phase learners have been targeted too in order to prepare these learners for university at an early age. To this aim, the learners will have an average of two contact sessions per week before or after normal school hours.
These learners will be taught various methods, techniques, and procedures necessary for mathematical success by mastering Level 1 (knowledge), Level 2 (routine procedure), and Level 3 (complex procedure) en route to Level 4 (problem solving).
An intense level of homework will be assigned, marked, and analysed to ensure optimal results and the students will be informed of their progress in a timely manner.
These students will be followed through assisted Matric and assisted by various sponsors with bursaries and career guidance with the ultimate aim to improve their mathematics marks in high school, Matric Mathematics results, study techniques, self-esteem, and reduce recidivism at the university level.
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