Teachers seek to improve maths results

Two-day seminar addresses failure rate at primary level

In an effort to better capacitate primary school teachers in the Eastern Cape and improve the standard of maths, teachers of the key subject shared ideas at a two-day summit at the East London Leadership Institute last week.
The Eastern Cape department of education curriculum general education and training (GET) and the early child development directorate conducted the provincial mathematics summit with a focus on conceptual understanding of mathematics in primary schools.
Officials from the department of basic education (DBE), University of Fort Hare and Rhodes University, curriculum managers, subject advisers and teachers attended the two-day summit.
The summit was an initiative of the late education MEC Mandla Makupula to investigate teachers’ perspectives on the persistent failure rate in GET mathematics.
“The mathematics framework calls for a multidimensional approach to transform the teaching and learning of mathematics in South Africa,” said Mmatladi Khembo from the DBE.
“It calls for a balance in mathematics teaching between four key dimensions and proposes the implementation of this teaching in the context of a learning-centred classroom, where learners and teachers engage actively, discussing and experimenting with mathematical ideas.”
Dr Xolani Khalo from the UFH made a presentation on provincial perspectives on the status quo of pupil performance and teachers’ voices on their challenges regarding the teaching of maths.
Staff from UFH and Rhodes made presentations on pupil and teacher performance in GET mathematics. Commissions were held to discuss:
Curriculum coverage;
Teacher development; and
Language in mathematics teaching and pupils’ attitude to maths.
Khembo said resolutions from the summit would be taken to the annual subject advisors indaba in January.
Paul Papiso, a teacher at Aqua Vista Primary School, said: “I benefited a lot from the summit and with the challenges that mathematics teachers are facing, I am positive that the strategies presented will be of help to make our job easy.”
Gcobani Primary School teacher Nomfundo Yawa said she was going back to her Mdantsane school with more confidence and renewed energy.
“The summit was very beneficial for us as primary school teachers. We are going to implement all that we have learnt at the summit. We hope it will be beneficial to our children.”..

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