The Western Cape Department of Education together with Via Afrika have launched Africa’s first Tabtor Maths Centre in Durbanville in Cape Town. The department says maths and technology are important building blocks for any child’s development if they want to stand a chance of competing for jobs in the future.
Tabtor is a programme which brings maths and technology together and enables learners to work and be tutored on tablets. Learners receive personalised learning plans and regular detailed feedback on their progress.
Provincial Minister of Education, Debbie Schaffer, says she hopes to see more of these centres rolled out in the province’s poorer communities to bridge the digital divide between rich and poor. “So many of the jobs that are available nowadays and where we desperately need people are underpinned by maths. Even in dairy farming there is now an app where the farmers can measure the amount of milk that gets transferred from their farm to the company where it is sold in the shops, so that they can see how much they need to be paid. Therefore, not even farming is basic anymore; you have got to have equipment and technology.”
The programme was developed by Raj Valli form the United States. He says the aim of their online courses is to help learners improve their results in science and technology by enabling them to learn and receive guidance in even the most remote locations. Valli says the big problem with learning exceptional maths is that there is nobody to assist learners at the point of struggle. He says Tabtor provides a dedicated online maths tutor for individual instruction. “Everyone wants their kids to be educated by an awesome teacher, but there are not enough awesome teachers around and the teachers that are there in the system do not have the support from technology and tools. We are solving all of those problems. That is why we have Tabtor.”
More centres are expected to be launched in Johannesburg and in other areas of the country.