The STEMI (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, innovation) crisis in South Africa is well documented. Every year news reports highlight how badly the country is fairing in these subjects at school level. The crisis calls for every organisation and individual to find ways to contribute to the solution.
Avis Fleet has taken a decision to spearhead the fight against mathematical mediocrity through various programmes with NPO partners. The company’s drive to be part of the solution is driven by its ethos of responsible and sustainable business practices through positive contribution to the livelihoods of their customers.
Since 1994, most of the South African maths education intervention have been directed at FET phase learners (Grade 10-12), and this has seen low marginal gains in overall performance hence the call by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to focus resources on early childhood development (ECD) in order to nurture talents at a younger age.
Literacy and numeracy have been identified as the two pillars for overall human development growth in the quest to eradicate poverty as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Avis Fleet has heeded this call by the DBE and is implementing a long term mathematics intervention at Mikateka Primary School in Tembisa, Johannesburg. This intervention is in conjunction with The Education Support Forum (TEDSF) and MathsGee (formerly MathsGenius Leadership Institute).
The project is guided by a sound theory of change and logic model. Below is a highlevel overview of the intervention.
To provide comprehensive STEMI (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Innovation) educational access and support for Grade 3 learners at Mikateka Primary School in Gauteng, South Africa.
Equip learners with information and tools to improve general problem solving and STEM academic performance through:
- Providing STEM education intervention R&D, advisory and implementation services.
- Providing curriculum-aligned STEM training content material for learners and teachers which is compatible with major digital assistive technologies.
- Providing easily accessible 24-7 online STEM educational QnA and Exam access and support platform.
- Providing a 24-7 STEM access and support telephone call centre.
- Stimulating and reinforcing positive attitudes and behaviours towards STEM.
Collaborating with strategic national and local stakeholders for optimal impact and sustainability.
- Internet resources
- Digital assistive technologies.
- Curriculum-aligned STEM subject content
- Learners and Teachers
- Local community members
- Avis Fleet
- The Educational Support Forum
- Service providers
- Local council and other agencies
- Community Trustees
- Departments of Science and Technology & Basic Education
- Needs Analysis
- Monitoring and Evaluation
- Program Sustainability
To achieve the programme’s short, medium and long term objectives the following activities will be completed:
- Meet with different Stakeholders for Needs Analysis
- Develop with relevant support mechanisms
- Choose local champions of the programme
- Incorporate Universal Access Design principles on all content and access and support platforms.
- Launch: Activation event as awareness campaign. (Expo, online platform, motivational speakers, music, braai, material distribution – books, pamphlets etc.)
- Weekly workshops with teachers and learners on mathematical thinking for STEM success.
- Facilitate participation in the curriculum-aligned QnA and exam access and support discussions.
- Quarterly STEM Motivational/Inspirational Sessions with students, teachers and parents – local and invited speakers.
- Participatory Parenting and Influence of Culture and its dynamic nature
- Critical and Creative thinking for general problem solving and Entrepreneurship Workshop.
- Fight against addiction (gambling, alcohol, drugs)
- Maths and English remedial lessons.
- STEM career awareness workshops
Short-Term Outcomes (1-4 years)
The Resultant outcomes are as follows:
- Increased access to quality access and support and material for all learners.
- Increased learner academic achievement in mathematics and science subjects.
- Improved and inclusive learner access and support mechanisms.
- Increased bottom of the pyramid learners’ achievement in mathematics.
- Increase in the number of community members who not fear maths and are trained in ethical problem solving methodologies.
- Improved community engagement.
- Awareness of the various STEM career options available.
- Increased community access to national role models for inspiration.
- Awareness of the various mathematics/scientific problem solving frameworks.
- Increased pro-social behaviours and activities in the community.
- Increased knowledge on the utility value of mathematics and education in everyday life and future goals.
- Stronger local coalitions for education.
Expected Long-term Benefits (more than 4 years)
In the long term the following benefits are expected:
- Socio-economic problems solving at the community level using creative but ethical methods.
- STEM Skills development for the community members.
- Consistently improved educational performance.
- Increased long term community participation in educational issues.
- A positive institutional culture.
- Pro-active self-sustaining community.
- Efficient workforce.
Avis Fleet, an innovator and leader in the outsourced fleet management industry and has been in the business for more than 35 years. It is the largest fleet management company in Southern Africa which operates in eight African countries including Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia.