WE HAVE all read and heard of the problems South Africa is
facing regarding mathematics, science and English and they are concerning to
say the least.
Maths in particular is a fundamental subject for
accountancy, science professions, as well as most technical professions to name
but a few. The solutions to our results seem to be few and lacking feasibility
Out of the need to improve the mathematics results of our
country’s youth, we’ve developed a programme that targets children even before
they embark on their formal mathematics education in primary school.
We feel that mathematics is not introduced early enough into
children’s lives, nor is it done in a way that encourages children to see it as
a part of their every day existence.
We’ve realised that across the school spectrum, children are
seeing maths as a separate entity - a school subject which is foreign and
frightening. We therefore believe firmly that children need to live maths from
very early on so as not to be apprehensive around a subject that has no doubt
caused them and their parents many parents’ sleepless nights.
Against this backdrop and equipped with a BA degree and prior work at a Mathematics Centre in
Bryanston teaching primary school maths, we teamed up with experienced teacher
Anne Youell, to develop the Minimatics programme.
Anne is a South African teacher who has over 30 years of
We initially started the programme out of a garage as a mom
and child extra-mural, but quickly saw the benefits of approaching nursery
schools. The reality is that so many parents work full day and children spend
long hours at school.
To involve the parents, we e-mail a lesson outline after
every class so that the parents can engage with their children, know what we've
been getting up to in class, as well as reinforce what we are teaching at home.
We’ve approached school principals as well, some have
approached us... and slowly but surely the name is spreading.
We took the Minimatics programme to market as a company in
2010. We now employ student teachers that understand the subject and have the
know-how to work with children.
The company is still young, and we are in pre-primary
schools in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg.
My biggest dream is for Minimatics to reach the children
whose parents cannot afford it. It would be amazing if corporates would take on
a sponsorship of a school as part of their CSI programme, a very sustainable
and feasible option for them.
Expansion to other parts of the country is also on the agenda
and we are exploring the franchise option.
The Minimatics programme is aimed at helping pre-primary
children become familiar with numeracy, shapes, measurement and patterns which
are around them in their homes and the environment.
With the programme we aim to give the children confidence
from an early age and assist them with the necessary skills to succeed in
primary and high school maths.
Their enjoyment through PLAY is of paramount importance to
We feel that if children have a solid initial mathematics
experience, it will lay the foundation for a confident child who is capable of
tackling this subject.
We would like to share with you a recent quote from a
principal of a school in which Minimatics have been introduced:
“As a former teacher
I can tell you that this programme resonates with me because it is the correct
way to teach pre-schoolers and at the same time build confidence and skill.
Another way to see it is ‘move to learn’”.
For more visit www.minimatics.co.za
* Philippa Gregory is the co-founder and now sole owner of
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