Every year, hundreds of thousands of young South Africans are excluded from further education because they fail maths.
245 103 learners attempted their final maths exams for the first time in 2017; 49% of them achieved less than 30% overall. “[A] student who scored 30% can hardly be classified as someone who has ‘mastered’ the subject” (South African Mathematics Foundation , 2018).
We don't believe these young people are failing maths because they lack ability. We believe the South African education system is failing them.
This poor performance excludes thousands of young people from employment opportunities, universities and other higher education institutions annually. This creates yet another barrier to economic entry for young South Africans.
We're committed to developing a human-centred, hypothesis-driven and agile approach to understanding this problem in context and testing ways to solve it. Our first step on this journey is a second-chance maths programme. We've recruited a small cohort of bright young minds to help us learn about the challenges they faced on their first, failed, attempt to pass matric maths. We are using a flipped classroom, technology-driven approach, with strong, individual performance tracking to monitor and evaluate their progress.
A control cohort is being hosted by a partner institution which has successfully created a business out of matric rewrites. They practice a more traditional, lecture-based approach to teaching and learning maths.
All of the learners will re-sit their maths exams at the end of the year. By measuring the change in final exam results for each learner, we will be able to establish whether Umuzi's human-centred approach out-performs the traditional method. We hope to use these results to improve and scale our programme.