“Large classes hampers maths education," Insights from a Penreach field worker
Penreach Maths & Science Programme currently reaching:
Children in Grades 4-12
Maths & Science Teachers
Children reached via the Mobile Science Lab & Shalamuka Science Centre
Schools using digital resources
The impact of the Penreach ECD programme
The impact of the Penreach Maths & Science programme:
- % of learners who achieved above 50% in Maths 59% 59%
- % of learners who achieved above 50% in Science 67% 67%
- Average % increase of scores in Maths and Science in 2018 (Grades 4-12) 20% 20%
The rate of achievement above 50% for Maths in Grades 4 increased
- by 18% from 2017 48% to 2018 66% 18% 18%
In 2018, 1240 out of 1879 grade 4 children in the
programme scored above .
- 50% in Maths 50% 50%
This is 18% more than in previous years.
Penreach Maths & Science Projects in Mpumalanga
Teacher Training in Maths & Science
Whilst access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education has increased, the quality has improved at a slower rate.
Interventions that seek to improve the quality of STEM education are therefore imperative.
It is also crucial to identify and nurture potential in learners in order to increase the pool of potential scientists,
engineers and Maths and Science teachers.
• Workshops around subject content and pedagogy
- Maths, Natural and Physical Science teachers from 80 primary schools and 17 MSTA High Schools
- 271 teachers
- 52 521 children
- Hermann Ohlthaver Trust
Penreach Simplify Seminar Series
Seminars in Maths and Science are open to all teachers, Heads of Department and Subject Advisors and tackle specific
challenges that teachers face in the teaching of fundamental maths and science concepts.
It covers work from Foundation phase to Grade 12.
Mobile Science Laboratories
86% of the 23 589 public schools in South Africa do not have science labs.
This means that most young black scholars don’t get hands-on tuition which would make their
learning far more effective because it is demonstrated and practised.
It also means that many of these aspiring scientists, researchers, engineers and medical specialists
start their university careers without ever conducting a practical experiment and without ever handling science equipment.
Access to practical experiments also excites young minds and entice them to consider a career in sciences, which a textbook might never accomplish.
ICT-assisted teaching & Learning
Penreach provided equipment that gives Grade 10 -12 teachers and their pupils access to digital content in Maths & Science.
The content includes video, assessments and lesson plans aligned to the national curriculum (CAPS).
This is delivered via a laptop, data projector and internet access. Teachers receive support and training from
Penreach on how to utilise this tool optimally to improve the understanding of important concepts in these subjects.
Language across curriculum
Improved outcomes in Maths and Science education will be attained only if equal attention is given to improving
English Language competence. 60% of SA children do not learn to read for meaning in any language by the end of Grade 3.
This can be attributed to the wide use of vernacular, negative attitude towards English and lack of confidence in the use of
English by both learners and educators. This is exacerbated by weak institutional functionality and limited capacity of Heads of Department.
The SACMEQ 2007 research report states that many teachers lack basic content knowledge and pedagogical skills.
32% of Grade 6 teachers in SA had desirable subject knowledge. The figure was even lower in Mpumalanga at only 4%.
Communities of Practice (CoP)
Our partner in establishing CoP in Maths &Science in Mpumalanga province is BRIDGE.
- Directing the Mpumalanga-based discussion forums on maths & Science education, to assist in coordinating efforts in the province
Shalamuka Science Centre
Increasing science awareness and practice through practical experiments, exhibitions, and shows for schools and the public.
Building capacity of science teachers in practical science application.