Making maths, science attractive for children

From left, tutor Stephen Martin, Maths Clinic director Mpumezo Dungelo, Hout Bay High School principal Juan Julius and Maths Clinic board member Harry Brown at the signing of the agreement between the school and NPO in February.

Imizamo Yethu-based NPO the Maths Clinic has taken a giant leap forward in bringing quality maths and science education to the Hangberg community by partnering with Hout Bay High School.

In December last year, Maths Clinic founder Mpumezo Dungelo expressed his desire to build on the successes the NPO had achieved in Imizamo Yethu, believing that the broader Hout Bay community might benefit from the programme which has adopted a multi-faceted problem-solving approach (“NPO solves maths, science problem”, Sentinel News, December 2 2016).

The NPO, founded in January last year, has gone from strength to strength, and now tutors a total of 31 pupils from an initial intake of 12.

“At a symposium we hosted last year, Hout Bay High principal Juan Julius learnt that pupils at Silikamva High School who had enrolled at the Maths Clinic were doing well. He then made contact with us, and in February we signed an agreement that three Hout Bay High pupils would join our programme.”

Living up to his reputation as a “”hands-on” principal, Mr Julius has been transporting these pupils to and from the Sijonga-Phambili community learning centre three times a week for sessions.

“What we are wanting to do is have pupils reaching Grade 10 physical science with all the basics in place. If we have the Maths Clinic assisting pupils at Grade 8, 9 and 10 level, they will be well prepared,” Mr Julius said.

“Furthermore, if we can get 25 or 30 learners interested in maths and science in the earlier grades, it will bode very well for the school. We will still need to work out the programme, but even if we can organise classes on a Saturday morning, it will be worth the effort.”

While growth is very much on Mr Dungelo’s mind, he is adamant that pupils will only be selected for the programme if they show a hunger to succeed and are behaviourally sound.

“We are looking at Hout Bay High as a pilot project for Hangberg. If this succeeds, we will be well on our way to establishing a full-time learning centre in the area, which was our goal at the end of last year,” he said.

With success, however, has come even greater demand from the community for effective maths and science tutor-

“The demand has meant that we are in desperate need of more tutors. At this point we are looking for four tutors willing to work on a volunteer basis for the Maths Clinic. Their services would only be required once a week at this stage,” Mr Dungelo said.

“Tutors do not need to have a degree, but need to have passed Grade 12 maths. We will provide all the necessary training at a series of workshops.”

Those wishing to volunteer their services can contact Mr Dungelo at 071 075 1235.