In South Africa the importance of Maths and Science can probably not be highlighted enough.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness report of 2015/2016 South Africa was ranked 138 out of 140 countries in terms of its maths and science education.
Both these subjects are key and vital elements for ensuring the future of this country.
And although the above statistics may sketch a dismal picture, there is still hope.
As a thought leader in education and a catalyst for improving the quality of education, Penreach prides itself on their innovating thinking approach. Since 1991 Penreach has focussed its efforts on core interventions to address the educational challenges in a pipeline from early childhood to matric and is today, more than ever, seeking new, creative interventions to address burning issues such as the current maths and science situation.
One such initiative is the Penreach Simplify Seminar Series – a series of seminars which seeks to demystify the so-called maths and science “monsters” or myths by focusing on proper pedagogical content knowledge.
This initiative was born in 2016 when the results of a baseline assessment to grades 4 to 9 on Maths and Science revealed interesting findings, Mr Bailey Nkuna, Director of Teaching and Learning at Penreach, explained.
According to Nkuna the assessment showed that it is not only, as many believe, poorly qualified teachers and learners lacking background knowledge in science concepts of the previous grades that contribute to the high failure rate, but especially learners’ inability to respond to questions due to poor comprehension of English.
This past Saturday Penreach held its second seminar and for the first time officially collaborated with stakeholders such as the South African Association for Science and Technology Educators (SAASTE) to address the issue.
According to Nkuna it was a great success as more than 100 educators attended the event and participated in various valuable demonstration sessions and inspirational talks. Penreach would like to thank all the attendees, and especially their partners, including the Mpumalanga Department of Education, for their continued support and assistance to help move South Africa forward.