JOHANNESBURG – THERE is concern about the quality of the country’s mathematics, fuelled by observations one in 10 matriculants on average score more than 60 percent on the subjects per year.
South Africa has been ranked as the worst in the world by the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2015.
In trying to address the panacea, six young men in Soweto have formed a non-profitable organisation could address the sad state of affairs.
Founded in 2010, the Soweto Maths Club offers extra lessons on the subject to the matriculants.The group volunteers day and night to ensure maths and science pupils excel in the subjects.
To date, more than 60 students from the sprawling township of Soweto and Johannesburg have reaped the rewards.
Orlando West High School has proved the Soweto Maths Club is the real deal, attaining a pass rate of more than 90 percent with five distinctions in Mathematics.
“We helped with extra lessons together with the teachers from Orlando. We were aiming for a 100 percent pass rate, but managed to help the grade 12 achieve five distinctions in Maths. The school also achieved a 94 percent pass rate in all Matric students,” says Moses
Thekhwe (31), one of the founders of the maths club.
He says a number of beneficiaries are now at different local universities including University of Johannesburg and Wits.
Thekhwe explains the choice of the Orlando school as the beneficiary this year.
The school, situated at the iconic Vilakazi Street, played a pivotal role in the 1976 student’s uprisings.
“Our brothers started the fight for better education. We see this as a continuation. We are supporting the students and the teachers. It is our way of giving back to the community.”
Given Mtshabi (21) is one of the proud beneficiaries of the Soweto Maths Club.
He is now a mentor.
“I met members this organisation in 2010 at Freedom Park Primary where they were doing lessons, although I was at a different school in Diepkloof,” he recalls.
“Then, I was getting average results in maths. Immediately after I met these guys, I passed the first test I wrote with a distinction. I was the best in class. From grade 11 until my final matric results, I was a top learner at in mathematics at my school and I never got anything less than 80 percent,” says Mtshabi.
He is now an undergraduate after securing distinctions in Maths and Physical Science.
“I got 79 percent, and I was admitted at Wits University. I am now a member of Soweto Maths Club because I felt that the guys did a lot for me and others. I have decided to help others,” he says.
Principal of Orlando West High School, Joseph Malindi, praises the club.
“The school has achieved better results since the arrival of this club and am proud to say this has been a record here in my 14 years as the principal of the school,” says Malindi.
Zacaria Mahunga (26) another member of the Soweto Maths Club, says the long term plan is to establish a centre that will specialise in Mathematics, Physical Science and Accounting.
“We want to change the mindset and ensure the township is labelled as a place where intellectuals emerge from.
We want to see the number of doctors and engineers increasing,” says Mahunga