Longyuan Mulilo Maths Program Empowering Local Youth
15th January 2020
The Longyuan Mulilo wind energy projects are aware of the focus on maths and science in schools in the Northern Cape, as well as the importance of mathematics in helping to break the cycle of poverty in our communities, and empowering the youth by giving them more opportunities through excelling in mathematics.
We therefore launched the Longyuan Mulilo Maths Program, in partnership with the Department of Education and the school governing bodies, whereby we reached over 2800 learners in 14 schools since July 2018. The beneficiaries consist of 2 primary schools in Philipstown, 6 primary schools and 4 high schools in De Aar, and 2 primary schools in Britstown.
The Maths Program teaches mathematics to learners, however the purpose is much deeper than that. By assisting school teachers in their classrooms with their mathematics curriculum and the teaching of maths in schools, we are not only able to obtain better academic results, but we also enabled school learners to access more opportunities at tertiary level, and ultimately the means to financial independence.
Longyuan Mulilo believe that the earlier we intervene with mathematics, the greater the chances of success our school learners have for their future. Most mathematics interventions focus on Grade 10 – 12, however by then some learners have already elected not to continue with mathematics as a subject in the senior schooling years.
The Longyuan Mulilo Maths Program therefore aims at early intervention, offering small weekly group tutoring sessions during class time for grades one to four. The program employs a dedicated math teacher as well as local grade 12 graduates known as ‘teacher assistants’, who would otherwise be unemployed, to assist with our mathematics program.
The teacher assistants who are currently on the program are also given the opportunity to study correspondence courses of their choice, while working in the schools, as well as being given a monthly teacher stipend. In this way we are helping to qualify many of our youth, while they in turn are helping our children.
The aim of the program is to give children a weekly opportunity to engage in a small group of practical maths activities and to take them through maths worksheets. The program facilitates groups of 6 to 7 learners where each learner is expected to actively participate in the lesson. The team of assistant teachers also takes time to get to know each learner in their group, while holding the learners accountable to try their best and encouraging their efforts, regardless of their ability.
The Longyuan Mulilo Math Program’s main objective is to improve maths & science in the local schools in the Northern Cape. This is achieved by stimulating interest in the subject of mathematics by removing the negative connotations associated with maths as a subject.
By making mathematics fun and relatable in the classroom and by creating opportunities for the learners to study further in professions which require mathematics in tertiary courses.
By partnering with the Department of Education and the schools, the program has been able to encourage more learners to take maths and science to grade 12 level, improve school results and employ and develop local youth through our teacher assistant program. More than 1.5 million Rand was invested over the past 16 months and we plan to expand the maths program to all grades in all schools in Emthanjeni and Renosterberg in the coming years.