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Changing the future of mathematics in the country

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

South Africa's investment in education has grown in recent decades. But while access to primary education expanded, the state of South Africa's education largely lags international standards.


Soshan Soobramoney, who represents the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA) on the board of the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF), highlighted that our Grade 5 learners are rated bottom last in mathematics performance when scored against Grade 4 learners from 39 other countries. The lagging consequences in the quality of primary education continue at a secondary level. (Source: IMF Working Paper WP/19/47).


He believes that ordinary citizens can help to change the future of mathematics education in South Africa. Says Soobramoney in the words of Lillian Barnard (Microsoft): "the biggest challenges South African entrepreneurs face – as well as those looking for work in corporate firms, is a lack of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills." (BusinessTech, 2018)


His passion for mathematics teacher and learner development gave way to the launch of the Mathematics Guardians. "The SAMF runs programmes that are highly cost-effective with a lean staff complement of only seven full-time and three part-time employees," he explains. "There are many volunteers involved - mainly mathematics teachers and academic staff from different universities - in hosting training programmes for teachers and learners. But, doing so requires funding. The Mathematics Guardians is a fundraising programme where individuals who care about the future of mathematics education of the country can make a monthly donation towards the various programmes run by SAMF."


Be a hero and contribute towards the Mathematics Guardian Fund. It is easy and secure through PayFast. Individuals who become Mathematics Guardians will receive a Section 18A tax deduction certificate and a fun problem to solve every quarter to feed your passion for mathematics. The minimum monthly donation for becoming a Mathematics Guardian is R100 per month. For more information, you can email Ellie Olivier at

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