Maths success and a 100% matric in Diepsloot

OLICO is a non-profit organisation providing after-school maths support to township-school youth. In 2012, OLICO began working with a group of Grade 8 learners in Diepsloot who have now graduated as members of the matric class of 2016 (OLICO’s first matric cohort). It is with great pride that we announce that this group graduates with a 100% matric pass-rate with 83% achieving Bachelor Level passes aided by substantial improvements in mathematics.

The matric class in Diepsloot is part of a larger group of 145 learners between Grades 7-12 who receive extra maths support twice a week. On first enrolment, the 2016 matric cohort had a mathematics average of just 18%. The latest matric results show that OLICO learners have dramatically increased their maths marks with 83% achieving marks of above 50% in pure mathematics. These improvements are the result of intensive work on foundational number skills and supplementary curriculum support with OLICO’s freely available online maths tool and tailored tutoring support. To put this in perspective, in 2015, only 27 matric learners in the whole of Diepsloot achieved maths scores of above 50%.

OLICO learner, Patience Moyo believes OLICO made a huge difference to her maths results, “When I first joined OLICO, my maths was poor but by practicing with OLICO’s support, my results have really improved. I want to start a new life at university and graduate as a psychologist to help people and be an example of what success is to my community.”

Likewise, her classmate Roda Chitegha believes OLICO has helped her unlock her potential and achieve her goals, “Coming in the afternoons since Grade 8 has helped to keep myself away from trouble and temptation that faces the youth of Diepsloot. OLICO has helped ensure my results at school are always good and I can go to university. I have registered for a BSC but this is not my only dream, I also want to see myself as a role model to others that matric success in maths is indeed possible.”

OLICO’s Maths Coordinator, Dr Lynn Bowie adds, “Over the past 5 years, these learners have worked tirelessly to improve their maths skills and deserve all the credit they’re now receiving. In short, their commitment and dedication has been outstanding and they are reaping the rewards. For many learners, the time and support available in school hours is simply not sufficient to cover all that needs to be covered so OLICO’s after-school support and blended use of technology is one way in which we can supplement the work of the teacher.”

OLICO: Improving Maths with a blend of technology and tutoring

OLICO uses a custom-built online maths programme (freely available to all) alongside skilled maths tutors to supplement maths learning. The online maths tool is published under a creative commons licence and contains over 20,000+ unique interactive maths questions and 330 tutorial videos specifically tailored for Grades 7-9 maths: http://learn.olico.org.

In addition to the 145 Grade 7-12 learners in Diepsloot, who attend maths and literacy sessions, OLICO is also working in 8 schools in the Western Cape on the Year Beyond programme and has over 2000 learners enrolled on the FREE online maths program for Grades 7-9 at http://learn.olico.org .

As a non-profit organisation, OLICO is reliant on our donor partnerships including: The Datatec Education and Technology Trust, The Learning Trust, Hatch, The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, The Claude Leon Foundation and Nedbank Private Wealth Foundation.

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