Re-writing matric maths and physical sciences just got a whole lot easier

Learners engaged in a GMMDC programme early in 2020 (pre-pandemic).

Re-writing matric maths and physical sciences just got a whole lot easier

26 Feb 2021 12:35

The two subjects that most matric learners fear and dread are mathematics and science – and often these are the two subjects that cause learners either to fail their year, or miss out on a university pass.

The Department of Basic Education has created an initiative called Second Chance: where matric learners are given the opportunity to re-write their matric exams in the following year and improve their marks.

Some Second Chance matric learners sign up to a private college that tutors them through the revision process... but how do learners manage who cannot afford to re-do their exams through a private college?  What resources are available to the financially-challenged matriculant who needs support?

That is where the Nelson Mandela University Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Centre (GMMDC) has been able to step in.

The centre has developed a ‘ReMatric’ course, aimed specifically at matric learners who just missed a pass or exemption.  Based on their highly successful Technology-Assisted After-School Support programme (TAPS), which was developed over ten years to help high school learners navigate maths and science, the GMMDC Maths & Science ReMatric programme is aimed at the talented learner who deserves a second chance.

The ReMatric programme is sponsored by Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSAf) in 2021 and runs over eight months. The programme integrates customised offline and online digital materials that are interactive and fully aligned with the school curriculum. It also includes many self-assessment opportunities and culminates in a mock ‘exam’ to prepare the learner for the real thing.  Each qualifying learner is given a tablet that is pre-loaded with a special app called TouchTutor® that contains all  their course-work, and they are guided through the curriculum with a facilitator who identifies gaps in their knowledge and helps with processes. 

“We learnt many new and creative ways to assist learners using technology,’ says Centre director Prof Werner Olivier, “and we also had to adapt our techno-blended model to long-distance learning in a very short time since the lockdown started. We discovered that our successful Incubation Support Programme lent itself very well to long-distance learning.  When we realised how many matrics failed because of the interruption in schooling – in the Eastern Cape alone, nearly 21 000 learners got less than 30% in their final exams in 2019 – we worked on re-purposing our  programmes towards helping them pass their Second Chance exams.”

IMSAf, an existing partner of the GMMDC, is pleased to be involved with the roll out of this pilot programme that aims to provide a viable model at scale to assist with the skills crisis and youth employability in the country.

“Our aim is to provide sustainable solutions in the community by investing in skills development and education. We are cognisant that mathematics and science are critical subjects in the fields of science and engineering and we support the need to improve these skills,” said Gishma Johnson, Isuzu’s Corporate Communications Manager.

“This is a pilot in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro that we are hoping to roll out across the country,” continues Olivier, “and so there are limited places available.  Anyone is welcome to apply for this technology-assisted Maths or Physical Sciences ReMatric tutoring programme and to go through the assessment and pre-selection process.  However,” he warns, “this requires a lot of commitment.  It is only suitable for young people who have narrowly missed their goal, and are prepared to work hard to make it.  Just like our sponsor slogan, we need learners who will be with us for the long run.”

Further good news:  the GMMDC is able to confirm that a second pilot programme will be launched in the rural Komani district in partnership with Get Ahead College. This pilot will be sponsored by the BK Board.

Contact details for the Port Elizabeth (Gqeberha) pilot programme:

If you wrote matric in 2020 (or 2019) and need to improve your maths and/or science marks, here are the contact details:  Whatsapp:  064 044 0717;  e-mail:  [email protected]  Facebook:  www.facebook.com/groups/778988723031387. Contact details for the Komani pilot programme will be posted to the above Facebook link in the next weeks.


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