Info sharing key in boosting maths marks

Information sharing among peers said to help boost pupil confidence and their performance. Pictured here pupils from Nyanga High School tutoring pupils from Ndzondelelo High School in Zwide over the June holidays in 2019.
Information sharing among peers said to help boost pupil confidence and their performance. Pictured here pupils from Nyanga High School tutoring pupils from Ndzondelelo High School in Zwide over the June holidays in 2019.
Image: Supplied

From the former Transkei to townships in the Bay, matric pupils recently reaped the rewards of shared knowledge particularly in Mathematics.

Mathematics is the reason for the high failure rate in the province according to the headmaster at Nyanga High School in eNgcobo, who said as a result they established a “si passa sonke” (let’s all pass) programme in the area which saw a group of ten pupils assist over 90 matrics from Zwide .

Nyanga principal Khulile Qamata said because the grade 11 pupils who progress to matric do not break during December in order to start the maths syllabus, they are done with major lessons by June.

“This programme started when we decided to have top performing pupils in the school take the grade 11's that have passed and teach them the first few Maths chapters,” Qamata said.

“As a result we complete the maths syllabus by June, and that is when we decided to reach out to other schools,” he said.

The programme initially targeted schools in and around eNgcobo, however in 2019 Lomso Dumezweni -who was among top 33 pupils nationally- and nine of his peers from Nyanga visited Ndzondelelo High School in Zwide.

“It was the first time that we visited a school outside our district,” Qamata said.

Dumezweni and his peers visited the Zwide school for a week tutoring over 90 pupils in June.

The 18-year-old said:“For me tutoring pupils is my way of taking a break. My peers and I will start by having a conversation and from there I will know how well they know their work."

He said they divided the pupils according to their levels so as to give proper attention to those who struggle the most.

“It’s true in class sometimes pupils are intimidated by the teacher or other smart pupils, but the moment you are surrounded by friends you become comfortable.

“I really do advise that more schools have peer study camps, because it is a very easy way of achieving good results.

Ndzondelelo High School mathematics teacher Vuyolwethu Qweqwe said he saw a big improvement in the results of the Maths and Science pupils.

“There is a group of 92 maths pupils from Ndzondelelo. There was also a huge improvement in those who had science as a subject.

“We as teachers did not interfere in the information sharing, the kids from Nyanga facilitated all the lesson’s successfully,” Qweqwe said.

Qweqwe said because textbooks is a challenge, extra classes and study groups helped in boosting the confidence of pupils.

Matriculant from Ndzondelelo, Luvo Vava,17, said the information sharing helped improve his grade.

“I used to get a level 3 and 4 in Maths but from the information sharing with the guys from Nyanga my marks improved to a level 6.

“It’s much easier to learn and take in information when you are being taught by someone your age, in a relaxed environment.

“In class sometimes you find that pupils are afraid to ask questions because they do not want to appear slow, but with the study camp we had people asking questions and comfortable with the lessons,” Vava said.

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