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Upskilling of mathematics teachers underway

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

The South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) in partnership with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Schools Enrichment Centre (AIMSSEC) is happy to announce that its Mathematics Teacher Online Training course finally kicked off on 17 August after COVID-19 delayed the original starting date.

108 Senior Phase (Grades 7 – 9) and FET Phase (Grades 10 – 12)mathematics teachers from across the country are taking part in this 13-week online course that is sponsored by the Old Mutual Foundation. 48 of the teachers are from Quintile 1 and 2 schools, which are disadvantaged schools in areas where learners do not pay school fees. Most of the teachers participating are from the Eastern Cape. Each participant is expected to complete five assignments during this time. The format will be a virtual course, where AIMSSEC has invited international and local lecturers to share course material and record their sessions to be shared with the students via Google Classroom, Google Drive and WhatsApp. Lecturers will also facilitate live sessions with the teachers (live broadcasts) using Google Meet. The teachers will have to commit to do home study over the first part of the 13-week period of five hours per week. Participants must also avail themselves for at least three Saturdays for the live broadcasts.

"The Mathematics Thinking Problem Solving Online Course is for mathematics teachers from schools that have entered their learners to take part in the Old Mutual South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) organised by the SAMF," explains Prof. Kerstin Jordaan, Executive Director at the SAMF. "The course has been designed to support teachers through the next three months and to help them cope with the very difficult situation that the pandemic has caused, with some learners in school and some at home." AIMSSEC’s professional development course focus on a fresh approach to teaching and learning mathematics, including solving non-routine type of problems. It will include subject content that is to be taught in the period from August to November 2020. Teaching material that lends itself to assigning motivational home-learning tasks will be introduced, in addition to contribute to planning lessons to help learners to catch up on the fundamental concepts that they should be mastering at this time.

"We are happy to see so many teachers taking part in the training course," says Celiwe Ross, Human Capital Director at Old Mutual, the main sponsor of the Old Mutual SAMO programme that includes the Olympiad, training for the International and the Pan African Mathematics Olympiads, and the teacher training programme. "We believe in creating a mathematically enabling environment, which provides opportunities for all learners to develop to their fullest potential. And to do that, we need to enable educators and provide them with the necessary skills and confidence."

The teacher training course will conclude at the end of November and a virtual closing ceremony is planned for the 12th of December.


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