The South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) released the dates of its countrywide learner development and teaching enrichment programmes for the new academic year last week.
The Old Mutual South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) takes place over three rounds every year. This programme, co-sponsored by the South African Institute for Chartered Accountants (SAICA), is for high school learners from Grade 8 to 12, and entries are already open. Learners will write the various contests on 11 March, 18 May, and 22 July.
The NESTLÉ NESPRAY South African Mathematics Challenge (SAMC) also happens over three rounds, but it is for primary school learners from Grade 4 to 7, and registration closes on 12 February. Learners will write various papers on 15 to 18 March, 26 May, and 29 July.
The South African Tertiary Mathematics Olympiad (SATMO) is a competition for university students on 21 August.
The ASSA South African Mathematics Team Competition (SAMTC) is a group learner development programme for high school learners on 11 September.
"Over the past 16 years, we have been closely involved with mathematics research, advocacy, learner and teacher development," says Prof Kerstin Jordaan, the executive director at the SAMF. "Our learner development programmes are not an end in itself but are intended as a vehicle to enhance the quality of the teaching and learning of mathematics. They are so much more than competitions with top achievers. They touch the lives of thousands. They stimulate interest in the subject and identify and develop mathematical potential. Participation in these programmes expands the mathematical skills and knowledge of individuals that will last way beyond the sparkle of the trophy, medal or certificate. It makes a difference in the real lives of real people, living in the real world."
"The SAMF currently co-ordinates two professional development programmes for mathematics teachers," she continues. "These programmes aim to improve the standard of mathematics teaching, improve teachers' skills and confidence to meet the challenges of implementing the curriculum, and increase overall appreciation of mathematics and the critical role it plays in the digital and financial environments."
The Teacher Problem-Solving course is a short-course and aims to enhance teachers' problem-solving skills and improve their mastery of solving Olympiad type problems. For the second course, the SAMF partnered with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Schools Enrichment Centre (AIMSSEC) to present a 13-week online course sponsored by the Old Mutual Foundation. The course focuses on a fresh approach to teaching and learning mathematics, including solving non-routine problems.