UJ helps high schools with maths

Mathematics teachjers and pupils are often criticised for poor subject matter.

The maths curriculum for Grades 10, 11 and 12 underlines new approaches and includes updated topics that pose a range of challenges to teachers and pupils regarding the underlying assumptions and goals, subject content, teaching approach and methods of assessment.

The University of Johannesburg's (UJ) mathematics department has embarked on an active partnership with high schools to develop and equip pupils with practical skills, the capacity to interpret content and to implement the curriculum and maths education in an innovative way.

The partnership will result in a series of workshops designed to be more practical and specialist oriented where textbook knowledge is tested.

Tutors go to schools to help pupils and to provide enrichment of course material to capture the interest of pupils in maths. The sessions take place on weekday afternoons or on Saturdays.

Gavin Robinson, project coordinator and head of tutors for mathematics at UJ, says the initiative prepares pupils and matriculants for the pre-lims and final exams and to help them obtain university entrance.

Robinson says: "This intervention comes in the light of the results of a number of international surveys that rated South Africa very low when it came to maths proficiency.

"Maths, with science, is acknowledged as one of the cornerstones of technological development in any country," he said.

"The project aspires to make an impact on the educational system by establishing contacts with schools and enriching the community through cooperation."