Warwick facilitators at Minerva Secondary School.
In helping to advance school-level mathematics education, Experian South Africa and United Kingdom-based have joined forces to participate in Warwick in Africa, a six-week mathematics programme aimed at improving learners’ skills.
The initiative is currently underway at secondary schools across the country, including in the Alexandra (Minerva Secondary) and Soweto townships, in Johannesburg.
According to Experian South Africa, mathematics education is essential for all facets of the country’s growing economy – from technology to energy and financial services. Therefore, a sound mathematical base from which to enter tertiary education and professional life in essential. In recognition of this, the company fully supports Warwick in Africa for equipping teachers and learners with the right level of skills required for personal and classroom development.
The programme, involving 41 students from the University of Warwick spending their summer holidays teaching mathematics literacy, kicked off in July and will come to an end in early September. Warwick in Africa is also being run in the Kayamandi Township in Stellenbosch and two other schools in Limpopo.
“Experian has generously funded our students to teach maths and mathematics literacy, which encourages students to gain a greater grasp of this subject and build their confidence levels and future potential,” says Sarah Walker, Development Executive for Warwick in Africa.
The programme, which is tailored to focus on ensuring lasting change academic results and the individual aspiration of learners, saw results improving by 57% in 2015. The feedback is that 100% of learners say that mathematics has become easier.
Warwick in Africa was set up in 2006 by students and alumni and was inspired by a similar project running in schools local to the University. The success of this programme has resulted in it being replicated in classrooms in Africa such as Ghana and Tanzania, in addition to South Africa.
To date, the programme has reached 280,000 school-going students in Africa for mathematics and English teaching.
“Alexandra Township is very special for Warwick in Africa as the first pilot site for our project in South Africa. We have observed real improvements in mathematics ability amongst secondary students, as well as a marked advancement in performance, ambition and motivation that have been driven by our students working closely with the classroom teachers to promote engaging and interactive teaching,” says Walker.
The Warwick in Africa programme is one of four projects that Experian South Africa has invested in this year around its 2016 financial literacy focus.
Experian South Africa believes that financial literacy empowers people to make the right financial decisions, to avoid getting caught in a cycle of unaffordable debt and ultimately having a poor credit rating. There are many benefits from knowing how to manage finances and credit well from a young age.
Experian’s Global Corporate Responsibility Programme engages over 17,000 Experian employees worldwide to be active volunteers, passionate fundraisers and community advocates. The programme uses Experian’s expertise, products and services to promote financial education, improve financial identities and access to credit, and tackle unmanageable debt.
Around the world, Experian employees have volunteered a total of 38,000 hours to support financial education and community initiatives in 2015.