Large grant for maths and science teaching

02 March 2009

science teaching

An initiative to improve the quality of teaching and learning of mathematics and science at schools has received an R18.5 million leg-up from the Royal Netherlands Embassy.

The funds will underpin the objectives of the Maths and Science Education Project (MSEP), a collaboration between UCT and the Western Cape Education Department.

The project, a strategic inter-faculty outreach initiative, develops systemic and sustainable models of high-quality science and maths teaching and learning in five disadvantaged secondary schools in Cape Town.

The schools are Harry Gwala in Khayelitsha, Spine Road in Mitchell's Plain, Sophumelele in Philippi, Rhodes High in Lower Mowbray, and Thandokhulu in Mowbray.

MSEP project manager Dr Emmanuel Mushayikwa said the schools have a high population of learners from disadvantaged backgrounds and belong to Dinaledi and MST focus schools. Dinaledi is the national Department of Education's flagship science and mathematics initiative.

"Our experience of working in schools has shown us that teachers and learners, especially in disadvantaged schools, are facing many unique challenges that constrain their academic performance," Mushayikwa said.

From January 2009 until December 2012, UCT will make the expertise of several faculties available to meet these challenges.

Among its activities, MSEP develops teachers, contributes to curriculum management and supports approximately 2 000 grade 9 to 12 learners at these schools.

MSEP is a founder member of Systemic Education and Extra-Mural Development and Support, a consortium of nine projects in the Western Cape that focus on a multi-lateral and cross-disciplinary partnership.

MSEP collaborates with the University of Stellenbosch, the Dinaledi Schools Project, the Africa Genome Project, and Sci-Fest Africa.

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