Bona Lesedi Mathematics Initiative
A joint venture by the Actuarial Society, the Catholic Women’s League and Pretoria Boys’ High School.
Learners and teachers of Pretoria Boys’ High Extra provide tuition for learners in townships. Learners at Bona Lesedi attend classes and pass their new knowledge to their classmates. Learners also have access to the services of a qualified social worker.
The programme has been so successful that Bona Lesedi requested additional sessions and have asked if subjects like Science can be covered as well.
The aim of the annual ASSA Mathematics Team Competition is to develop interest in mathematics, mainly focusing on talented learners who have been identified through the South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) and other SAMF Olympiad programmes.
Each team enters two teams of ten: Junior (grades 8 and 9), Senior (grades 10, 11 and 12) and may also enter B,C,D, teams at each level. The first part of the competition is a one-hour individual paper, consisting of 15 problems in multiple-choice format. After a break for refreshments and a discussion of team strategy, the second part of the competition takes place. The second paper consists of ten quite difficult problems, but now the teams may work together and must submit just one set of answers.
A total of 89 teams from 18 regions, including teams from other African countries, participated in the 2016 event. The competition is organised by the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF).
This joint venture with Access Education and the South African Mathematics Foundation is aimed at foundation phase grades with three main goals.
- To replace the barriers to math in young learners with curiosity and interest in the subject.
- To include a math intervention programme for the participants.
- To facilitate a parallel math teaching skills programme for the educators, which is not personally intimidating.
Financial literacy workshop in Mamelodi.
A team of three AWF members worked on facilitating a financial literacy workshop for 15 municipal workers in Mamelodi in early June. The half day workshop focussed on aspects of budgeting. AWF facilitated the workshop in partnership with ASABA’s outreach committee and Finmark Trust. The workshop was well received by the municipality and the attendees.
In the run up to the workshop, Finmark Trust assisted by facilitating a free session on ‘best practices for running financial literacy workshops’ for all AWF and interested ASSA members. The workshop was attended by 15 members and provided for invaluable insights into how to frame and structure such workshops.
This is an AWF initiative:
On the 18th July 2016 AWF held the first Nelson Mandela Day Outreach Activity. AWF partnered with Won Life, a non-profit organisation which provides education and educational support to the underprivileged community of Fisantekraal, in the Western Cape.
The event was held at the Trevor Manuel Primary School in Fisantekraal, near Durbanville.
Sixteen very enthusiastic volunteers from the ASSA community helped bring this event to life.
The day consisted of the following activities:
- Creating reading corners in the Grade 2 classrooms
- Participating in a learning and craft activity with the kids under the coordination of the teachers and the facilitators at Won Life
ASSA also made a monetary contribution towards Won Life’s Teacher Mentorship Programme. Won Life’s comprehensive Teacher Mentorship Programme was developed to address the needs of teachers at underperforming schools in this country. It focuses on actively mentoring teachers towards teaching success.
This is an AWF initiative:
Over the course of 2015 – 2017, AWF has been working on the development of an online multiplayer game (iMali), which focuses on increasing players’ financial literacy skills, through the metrics of maximising their wealth and achieve the lifestyle they desire during the game.
AWF has partnered with thryve, an online provider of cloud based insurance solutions, in the user interface, back-end game development and roll-out of the online game. Their development experience has been invaluable in achieving a working prototype. Current the game is in beta testing.
The target audiences for iMali are primarily high-school and early university students, with the key aim are to encourage these individuals to practice key financial principles such as:
- The benefits of budgeting and money management, by being aware of their “personal balance sheet”.
- The importance of saving – both for unexpected short term emergencies as well as long term savings (that typically relies on the power of compound interest to grow investments).
- The game also explores how different financial products (such as savings vehicles and insurance) can be used to achieve these financial goals.
- iMali also highlights the power of education to improve long term earnings.
The game play
The game simulates regular decisions aiming to show the impact these life choices have on your ultimate wealth, as measured by net asset value. iMali also recognises the value or utility derived from certain life decisions, reflected by a ‘happiness factor’, that acts as a multiplier on wealth in the simulated game.
The player is faced with certain choices that have a bearing on how much money he/she retires with. For example:
- Do you study straight after school or do you start working?
- Will you buy a house or rent the place you’re living in?
- Will you buy a car or save the money and use public transport?
- Do you invest your money? What type of investments should you choose?
iMali also simulates unexpected life events, such as falling ill or having a car accident. These unexpected events match the typical happenings of ordinary day-to-day life which often play havoc with financial planning, saving and ‘happiness’.
iMali’s Phase 1 (alpha version) was piloted at Tsiba in October 2016, a unique private, not-for-profit business school based in Cape Town, in mid-October 2016. Initial feedback from students was positive with most users finding the game useful, educational and realistic. In 2017, the new user interface was implemented and the game Phase 2 (beta version) will be showcased at the ASSA Convention.
You can access iMali online :
Where to next on iMali?
Phase 3 of the game development, is earmarked for 2018 and will build on these successes with further refinements to the game in the pipeline. We will seek new partnerships and roll-out the game to a wider audience in the coming years.
The remaining focus areas are:
- Fix bugs and glitches in the existing game play.
- Improve the overall game play – by increasing the ‘fun’ quotient.
- Continue to improve the user experience.
For further details, you can contact: Rajiv Kumar Singh at –
iMali team: Christopher Smith, Louise de Beer, Andrew Cartwright, Dave Strugnell, Jerosh Narayan, Zani Ludick, Marc Burgess
Thryve resources: Marthinus Botha, Albie Van Rensburg, Simon Bos, Philip Heenop