Growth in matric mathematics marks in Diepsloot

DIEPSLOOT – The slow but sure growth in learners taking and passing mathematics is thanks to a company-funded foundation.

With the country’s high demand for mathematics in different career fields, the need for maths education is at a high level. The number of learners writing maths has declined from 270 516 in 2018 to 222 034 last year. Of this number, 54 per cent achieved the 30 per cent pass rate.

Two learners managed to achieve incredible results after attending after-school tutoring and training on the Olico Maths Education Programme.

More than 1 000 leaners from Diepsloot are registered in Olico maths clubs for the year. Olico uses both extra-curricular maths tutoring and custom-built online programmes for learners in Grade 7 to 9. Maths clubs are offered and aimed at primary school learners from Grade R to 6.

Cofounder and national coordinator of Olico, Andrew Barrett said, “Township learners have multiple layers of added challenges that their affluent peers don’t face.

“Learners in these areas arrive in high school three to four years behind where they should be mathematically. Only 19 per cent of the Diepsloot matric cohort from 2019 wrote and passed maths, and only 7 per cent scored above 50 per cent. But those matriculants who were on our programme accounted for a third of all bachelor-level maths passes from the area, despite making up only 3 per cent of the total Diepsloot matric cohort.”

The programme is part-funded by the Datatec Education and Technology Foundation, which is a Johannesburg-based multinational information and communication technology (ICT) solutions and services group. It recognised that education is the foundation of a successful economy and gives back by funding organisations serving underprivileged communities across the country through their foundation.

Two Diepsloot Grade 12 learners and Olico attendees, Theo Mathebula and Karabo Hlaka, had a dedication and consistency which led them to succeed. Barrett lauded Theo’s determination in problem-solving and said his attitude made it possible for him to achieve a bachelor level maths mark. “He found ways to make his work interesting to him, so that he could actively engage it – clearly his attitude made the difference.”

Karabo showed unfathomable determination, and made time to come after classes to ask specific questions and attended after-school sessions. He showed great improvement from starting his time at Olico at the beginning of high school. Starting with a 13 per cent average, he now studies towards a BSc degree.

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