Following the success of the Literacy for All (LfA) project, covering some 20+ schools in the Helderberg Basin, it was decided to launch a Numeracy project starting in March 2015.
The intention is to build on the experience gained with the LfA project by offering the Numeracy project to the most committed and successful schools in the LfA programme.
The “vehicle” chosen for the Numeracy project is the NumberSense series of workbooks developed by Brombacher and Associates. (www.numbersense.co.za) The NumberSense books are in use widely in South Africa and abroad and have been selected by Curro Schools (a leading South African private school group) as the basis for their Foundation and Intermediate phase mathematics education.
Due to financial constraints, the HSRC Numeracy project will be confined to the Foundation phase (grades 1,2 &3) covering workbooks 1-9 in the NumberSense series.
The project started in March 2015 with Marvin Park and Oklahoma Primary Schools in Macassar to be followed by Macassar Primary in November 2015. A further 2 schools, Methodist Primary, Somerset West and Solomon Qatyana , were added in March 2016. As the programme involves each learner completing 2-3 workbooks per annum, the workbooks have to be replenished regularly as the learners progress and new learners start school.
We currently have about 2500 learners on the programme at a cost of R 25 (Stg 1.25, USD 1.70, Euro 1.50) per learner per year. This number will rise to 3500 learners in 2017 as new grade classes join the programme. In general terms, on the basis of 5 classes per grade, 40 learners per class and 3 workbooks per learner per year, it costs R 45000 per annum (Stg 2250, USD 3000, Euro 2750) to fund 1 school for the Foundation phase of Grades 1-3.
We are very fortunate to have the following current sponsors for the Numeracy project:
All schools on the project will be audited twice per year at the end of terms 2 & 4. In addition, 2 training workshops will be held in February and August each year. In addition, selected teachers will attend the annual User Conference held annually in May.
While quantitative measurement is difficult due to the nature of the disadvantaged communities within which we work, the success of the programme will be monitored through teacher reports, on-going class assessments, ANA results (yearly Education Department tests) and Systemic Test results(conducted annually by the Education Department at the end of Foundation phase i.e. for grade 3 learners).
Further expansion of the Numeracy project will be dependent on funds available, the priority being to maintain our current commitments on an on-going basis.
The programme continues to produce positive qualitative and quantitative results and we would welcome further sponsors to enable us to extent this initiative to other disadvantaged schools.