Numeracy for All

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. ( 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, Somerset West Methodist and Solomon Qatyana , were added in March 2016 and Academia in 2018. 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 in excess of 4000 learners on the programme at a cost of R 120 (Stg 6.70, USD 8.30, Euro 7.50) per learner per year. This number will rise to 4500 learners in 2019 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 24000 per annum (Stg 1340, USD 1660, Euro 1500) 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:

  • The Carl Duisberg Foundation Germany
  • Cambridge Rotary Club UK
  • Munich East Rotary Club Germany
  • Herzegun Rotary Club Germany
  • Mrs Schoerghuber Germany
  • Siena Rotary Club Italy
  • Overland Rotary Club, Kansas City, USA
  • Munich-Konigsplatz Germany
  • Mr von Hoyos Germany

All schools on the project are audited twice per year at the end of terms 2 & 4. In addition, 2 training workshops are held in February and September each year. In addition, selected teachers will attend the NumberSense User Conference held each year in May.

While quantitative measurement is difficult due to the nature of the disadvantaged communities within which we work, the success of the programme is monitored through teacher reports and on-going class assessments. Results to date have been encouraging.

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.

Project Convenor:
Dave Wilson
January 2019