The Northern Cape class of 2018 received 75.2% for matric results which is a decline from class of 2017 which got 77.6%. Education is deemed as one of the most pressing challenges in the country.
In 2018, R351 billion was spent on education, yet numeracy continues to be a huge problem. A 2015 study conducted by Trends in International Mathematics and Science (TIMMS) showed that 65% of grade 5 pupils in the country could not add and subtract whole numbers.
Founder and Managing Director Anne Maclean, established the Maths and Science Leadership Academy in 2006.The academy is designed to develop and nurture the passion for maths in learners from an early age and increase the number of learners who opt for maths in Gr. 10.
The academy also focuses on the holistic development of the learners and provides them with opportunities to develop the necessary skills such as communication, problem-solving, innovation, research and information technology.
MacLean says most kids are locked into school environments where they are destined to go nowhere because of what they are offered at school. The academy head hunts the best teachers and presents them with the best resources so as to marry the good with the good in the system and try to fast track the pool of young people who have everything it takes to follow professions like engineering, medicine etc. that will help develop and grow the economy.
In 2017 the academy had a student from Emamogo High School who achieved 100% in maths and science while in that very same year the school’s overall pass rate was 40.7% . He is currently a 2nd year medical student at University of Cape Town.
From the year 2014-2016 one hundred students from the academy have gone into engineering courses with bursaries.
The academy rewards learners who show commitment and loyalty to their studies and the academy through their annual awards ceremony.
Educator, Buyiswa says she’s enjoys the program as it helps the learners with problem solving and keeps the teachers on their toes with making the subject more interesting.
“The program really helps the learners with problem solving and keeps us on our toes with making sure that the learners enjoy the subject”.
David Mpofu joined the academy while he was in grade 9 at Vuyolwethu High School. He was living alone as his parents had passed away. He says the academy immensely helped him in growing and getting to where he is now.
“When I came to the academy I was getting 60-70% in maths and they helped me get higher marks making it possible for me to be accepted into the Central University of Technology to study engineering. I got distinctions in all my modules in my first year. I usually come by to help out where I can, whether it’s with the students by sharing my story or even just carrying boxes, the academy is my home”.
Katlego Sehemo also joined the academy in grade 9 with the pioneers programs. After getting his matric he decided to take a gap year due to applying late at universities. MacLean went to his house saying he should apply at Sol Plaatje University to study Data Science as such great potential cannot be left to be spoiled. He will now be heading to the United States of America to continue with his studies.
The classes are held at Diamandtveld High School where 400 learners attend the classes on certain Saturdays throughout the year. This serves the purpose of opening the learners to a different environment which allows them to see beyond their classes. The academy covers different districts within the Northern Cape such as Namaqualand and Poffader where learners and educators of the surrounding areas go to Bosman High School for the same program.