Free science tool to help schools
A free web-based educational resource has become available to help uplift the quality of mathematics and science teaching in South African schools.
Software company SAS Institute said in a statement on Monday that its Curriculum Pathways programme could improve the quality of scientific education in South Africa.
“The World Economic Forum has released its annual report on financial development, which placed South Africa 62nd out of 62 countries assessed for the quality of their maths and science education,” it said in a statement.
“The department of basic education is urgently seeking solutions to address this problem... this [programme] is a much needed intervention...”
SAS vice-president for the Middle East and Africa, Riad Gydien, said the programme was available for free in South Africa as part of the company’s corporate social investment activities.
“In South Africa, where there are significant problems in the education system, especially with maths and science, SAS Curriculum Pathways offers a solution that supports and augments the education system to address those gaps,” he said.
The company spent US75 million (R663m) on developing the programme.
It provides interactive, standards-based resources in English, arts, maths, science, social studies and Spanish for grades six to 12. The resource comes in two versions — one for teachers and the other for students.
With the programme, pupils learn by using virtual labs, diagrams, poetry, dialogues, historical documents and narrated and captioned videos.
SAS said it was forming partnerships with non-governmental organisations to provide the hardware and connectivity to enable pupils to use the resource.
Several tertiary institutions had registered for their free licence to use Curriculum Pathways in their previously disadvantaged individual teacher development programmes. They would use it in their bridging courses for students not fulfilling all the requirements in maths and science.