29 January 2013

Namibia: Bank Windhoek Funds Maths Education

Windhoek — The government recognises the importance of mathematics and that is borne out by the introduction of maths as a compulsory promotional subject from Grade 1 to Grade 12 in all government schools last year.

Bank Windhoek has over the years supported various initiatives to strengthen mathematics education at schools and is therefore sponsoring over N$191 000 to the Namibian Mathematics Institute (NMI) to train 65 high school and 40 Grade 7 mathematics teachers in the Caprivi Region this year.

Last year, 80 Grade 10 and Grade 12 mathematics teachers from the Caprivi Region received training in mathematics content and didactical training, also through the support of Bank Windhoek. The NMI was established shortly after independence in 1990 in an attempt to improve mathematics education in Namibia.

The organisation focused on learner support programmes in its formative years, but later changed its focus to teacher upgrading. "Over the past seven years, Bank Windhoek has generously invested in the NMI and its projects to support the Namibian government in strengthening mathematics education in Namibian schools. As can be observed through the national Grade 12 examination results, a lot still needs to be done to improve maths results in our schools," explained Pieter Erwee, the director of the NMI.

"Bank Windhoek is impressed with the results of the NMI projects. There has been an improvement in the results of learners in classes of teachers that went through the NMI training. However, the biggest challenge according to many teachers is to get learners interested in the subject as they have a negative attitude towards mathematics. We have trust in the NMI in making a difference and changing the attitudes and perception of mathematics in education," said Riaan van Rooyen of Bank Windhoek.

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