Maths can be fun

South Africa needs young people with technical skills to fill the skills gaps in the economy.

The National Development Plan identifies the important role of disciplines such maths, science, technology and innovation in achieving the country’s long-term developmental vision.

The 2016 matric results show an increase in overall candidates that wrote and passed math, with 8 070 distinctions attained compared to 7 791 in 2015. Average results for combined maths and maths literacy increased marginally from 49,1 percent in 2015 to 51,1 percent in 2016.

In a bid to promote maths learning, Unilever developed OMO Fast Kids Maths to significantly enhance the education of learners, especially with regards to maths literacy.

The mobi-site, or game, is an interactive online learning platform for mobile phones, tablet devices and desktop browsers, intended to expose children, aged seven to Grade 12, to the foundations of maths. These include number bonds, times tables and general arithmetic through the use of drills.

South Africa came under the spotlight after a World Economic Forum global competitiveness report revealed that the country rated last, in a grouping of 144 countries, for maths and science teaching. Furthermore, the latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study places South Africa very low in its maths performance rankings among comparable countries, globally.

This demonstrates the need for initiatives such as OMO Fast Kids Maths. South Africa may have one of the lowest maths literacy rates in the world, but it is among the top countries when it comes to tech literacy. With the country boasting an impressive 85 percent mobile penetration, using technology to boost mathematics and numeracy rates presents an unmissable opportunity.

“The increase in the maths pass rate has shown that future leaders are keen on exploring and passing maths. It is for this reason that we want to provide these learners with a maths learning tool they will be able to enjoy. Also, parents and guardians can take advantage of OMO Fast Kids Maths to strengthen their own maths skills. The initiative is set to be an investment for the entire family, with endless hours of maths fun,” explains Henry Muchauraya, Marketing Manager: OMO South Africa.

“As parents are also key to developing the young generation’s competency levels, the interactive nature of OMO Fast Kids Maths enables them to engage with their children in a secure and development-focused environment, making it easy and convenient to monitor school work on an ongoing basis.”

The mobi-site equips pupils with maths skills from as early as Grade One, where they learn the foundational skills that will ensure their success at tertiary level. This can go a long way in ensuring that they obtain good matric maths results and also manage to go through university without any major problems.

“Teachers also benefit from the mobi-site, which gives them a new, fun and engaging way of teaching an otherwise difficult subject that most children struggle to understand and making their jobs more rewarding,” Muchauraya said.

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