Last week Dr Marlies Craig teamed up with CASME for two days of educational outreach at the American Corner in Bessie Head Library, Pietermaritzburg. Talking about biodiversity with about 150 high school kids was so much fun. Are you wondering what they are all getting so excited about? Science! Nature! Insects! Genetics!
Stalk-eyed flies sizing each other up.Insects are full of surprises, and there are so many of them, that one can never run out of fresh, interesting material. For example, we kind of know about courtship displays in birds. We may have seen male impalas battling it out to win the favour of their ladies. We know mammals feed their young with milk. But courtship, territorial battles and suckling of young – in flies???
The children were riveted by the idea that female aphids make ‘photocopies’ of themselves, then giving birth to these clones, which already have the next generation developing inside them. I mean, that’s just CRAZY!
This article was originally appeared at:
Durban 30 May 2017, Delivering the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education Budget for 2017, MEC for Education Minister Dlungwana said that the province’s learner population is a ‘demographic dividend bonus’ and encouraged investment in them to improve the quality of life of all citizens. He also said that more attention was being paid to improving the quality of schooling, especially in the acquisition of foundational skills for learning such as reading, writing and numeracy.
Taking up the call for investment in primary education, Kingdomslots through its Grand Gaming Corporate Social Investment programme has partnered with local non-profit organisation CASME.
CASME runs a training and support programme for primary schools in the Pinetown, Umlazi and Ugu Districts of the KwaZulu-Natal province. The programme provides support to teachers through quarterly training workshops and the distribution of teaching resources. The annual programme concludes with the staging of a Mathematics Olympiad Competition for learners from Grades 3 to 7.
Over 600 teachers from primary schools in the Umlazi districts will be supported by the Kingdomslots donation of R108,000. The teachers have demonstrated high levels of commitment to their professional development and participation in the training provided which ensured their place in the programme.
The project encourages interest and enthusiasm by learners through the staging of a series of mathematics competitions. These competitions are organised at two levels, the first being at school level followed by an inter-school competition.
Director of CASME, Henre Benson, speaking at the handover said that experience has shown that the competitions provide a number of benefits including motivating teachers to cover the curriculum at the appropriate standard and giving schools insight into areas requiring remediation which are then addressed through the teacher training workshops.
The best performing learners in the project will be awarded prizes at a ceremony during November.
Durban, 12 May 2017, South Africa spends 6.3% of its GDP on education, (compared to South Korea which spends 4.6%), however, 27% of pupils who have attended school in South Africa for six years cannot read, compared with 4% in Tanzania and 19% in Zimbabwe. (The Economist, January 2017).
“South Africa needs to set new benchmarks for success in order to meet this educational urgency,” said Chevron South Africa chairman, Shashi Rabbipal, at the opening of a new Chevron-funded facility for the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME) in Durban today.
Chevron is set to invest R3.6 million into the CASME initiative to address the educational challenges facing the communities surrounding its Lubricant Manufacturing Plant (LMP) based on the South Basin of the Port of Durban. This funding is supported by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, Umlazi District and it has been used to expand the Lamontville Education Centre to include a Science Resource Centre.
The beneficiary communities of the investment include Bluff, Wentworth, Merebank, Isipingo, Montclair, Glenwood, Umlazi, Lamontville and Chesterville. These are the communities from which Chevron draws its employees, and where the company has its local roots.
“The private sector has a pivotal role to play in implementing workable solutions in education in South Africa. By far the best solution involves seeking and nurturing high value partnerships with other stakeholders in education.
“We need to look at the demands of a modern economy on the one hand and the enormous projected growth in number of learners, especially at high school level. In 2025 there will be 21.3 million secondary learners in South Africa (The Global Rise in Education) and these learners will need clear pathways into science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers.
“Therefore, as a leader in an industry with a strong science and technology orientation, it is critical for Chevron South Africa to invest in education in the communities from which it sources its workforce and to complement its massive investments into infrastructure, resources and other areas of the economy,” Rabbipal said.
“We are addressing learners who stand to benefit through a tuition programme for Grades 10 to 12. 300 learners from five schools started their Saturday classes in the early part of the year, with tutors offering expert guidance in mathematics, science and English.
Rabbipal added that the country’s National Development Plan has set a number of ambitious targets for mathematics and science learner achievement by 2030, including the creation of 30 000 artisans a year.
“These targets are critical if the country is to meet its goals of alleviating poverty, inequality and unemployment. But government alone cannot solve the crisis in mathematics and science education in South Africa, it requires the collective effort of all stakeholders,” added Rabbipal.
He concluded that teachers are at the core of quality and innovative teaching and learning, and so at the heart of the programme is ongoing support for local teachers through training and mentorship from the CASME team of seasoned facilitators.
Their programme is three-pronged tackling the issue of resources for teaching, support for teachers and creating opportunities for learners.
About Chevron South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Chevron South Africa is an affiliate of Chevron Corporation, the world’s second largest integrated energy company, which markets its products in South Africa under the Caltex Brand - one of the country’s top petroleum brands, with around 850 service stations nationwide. It also has Lubricants blending and base oil storage capability and markets Caltex Havoline and Caltex Delo to consumers across the country.
Chevron South Africa operates a crude oil refinery in Cape Town with a production capacity of 100,000 barrels a day. The refinery produces petrol, diesel, jet fuel, LPG, bitumen gas and other speciality products for South Africa and for export to other African countries. The Lubricants Manufacturing Plant in Durban together with its premium base oil hub has world class manufacturing, storage infrastructure and capability therefore allowing it to be poised as a key contributor to growth in South Africa.
Chevron South Africa is a major contributor to the country’s economic growth and has implemented wide-reaching social investment programmes in health, education and economic development.
Issued by FTI Consulting:
For interviews, visuals or further information, please contact:
+27 (0) 21 487 9027 direct
+27 (0) 82 776 2840 mobile
On behalf of Chevron South Africa:
Suzanne Pullinger, Communications Manager
+27 (0) 21 403 7671
+27 (0) 83 708 0089
On Monday 24 April CASME hosted the second of its NGO Knowledge Sharing Seminars. We teamed up with local civic technology NGO, Open Data Durban (opendata.durban), who came to share their expertise on the exciting and interesting field of Data Visualisation.
Richards Gevers, founder of Open Data Durban, introduced delegates to the data pipeline, data wrangling, data hygiene and some nifty data mapping tools.
The session includes useful Google Sheets tools and tips, introduction to Tabula, Piktochart, Carto and much more.
THE NPC/Intercement cement company, which has a factory at Simuma, is aware that South Africans need educated, informed teachers to build their country and has decided to do something about it.
It is involved in a three-year project that started last year and that assists teachers by offering them informative workshops run by the cement company’s project partner, the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME).
The Department of Basic Education’s Ugu District is also involved in the project. As it aims to build strong foundations for learning in the lower grades, the project’s 2017 focus will continue to be on providing training and support for maths and English teachers in grades 4 to 6.
Early last year when NPC/Intercement decided to invest in education as part of its corporate social investment programme, it approached the Ugu Educational District.
Those involved in the social investment proposal were keen deliver a local education initiative that would be embedded in the work of the district and would provide additional support to schools in the area.
Together the district and NPC/InterCement designed a teacher development programme to support maths grade 4 to 6, or intermediate phase, teachers as this was the phase identified as being the most in need of intervention. In February last year they approached CASME and asked it to support the implementation of the programme.
Together they devised a three-year project implementation plan that includes training workshops, held at the start of each term, for intermediate phase maths teachers. The workshops focus on mathematical content across the intermediate phase grades and on teaching skills training.
Teachers are also given manuals to help them design and implement lesson plans. The training model also allows the teachers to share their newly acquired knowledge with their colleagues.
A programme to support English teachers has also been implemented. It will build on the five-day training that was recently provided to intermediate phase teachers by the British Council. The workshops began in September 2016.
The Ugu Educational District has welcomed this programme and is already seeing some positive results. Teachers’ skills have been enhanced and they have gained confidence. Principals have already noticed an improvement.
So far 277 of 502 maths teachers earmarked for the project have already attended mathematics workshops. All Ugu Educational District intermediate English teachers, about 600, are involved in the programme and will eventually benefit from workshops.
“The NPC Intercement and CASME workshops provide high quality workshop materials and quality facilitation that includes motivation for teachers to do their best to ensuring quality learning and teaching,” said Ugu District spokesman, Nozipho Mbotho.
The district was confident it would see an improvement in the teaching of the two targeted subject and in all subjects taught in English, she added.
This article originally appears in the South Coast Herald:
On 6th and 7th March 2017, the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME), hosted the first workshop in its Knowledge Sharing Seminar (KSS) Series.
The KSS Series aims to provide timely, accessible, and relevant capacity-building workshops for education and development Non-Governmental Organisations/Non-Profit Organisations (NGO/NPOs).
Having worked in the education sector for over 30 years, CASME identified a need to strengthen local capabilities and talent both within the sector and within their own organisation. The KSS Series thus aims to broaden knowledge, deepen skills development, and create a space for peers to come together to network and to learn from one another.
The KSS Series will feature one event per month over the next six months, with topics ranging from how to use creative data visualisation techniques, to how to leverage social media for fundraising and marketing. The event programme also includes a seminar on Excel for beginners, a project management refresher session, and a workshop on how to utilise open source tools for NGO/NPOs. By leveraging their partnerships and networks, CASME is committed to drawing on sector expertise to facilitate quality sessions, whilst keeping the seminar registration costs to a minimum.
The first workshop in the KSS Series, entitled: Monitoring and Evaluation 101, provided participants with an introductory overview of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) processes and tools. The 2-day event was generously funded by the Zenex Foundation, and the donated funds were used to invite Benita Williams and Daleen Botha of Benita Williams Evaluation Consultants to facilitate the workshop.
The 26 participants who attended this first workshop came from a range of local organisations.
Overall, the workshop was a great success and the participants acknowledged the relevance and importance of M&E. This first KSS Seminar provided a comprehensive overview of M&E, which will assist the participants in managing, implementing and reporting on their programmes more effectively and efficiently. CASME would like to sincerely thank the Zenex Foundation for funding the event and for their ongoing support.
2017 has started with an injection of new energy into the CASME team with the appointment of 3 new members of staff.
Joining the team of 5 core project staff we are pleased to welcome...
Dawn Harrison who joins the team to lead the high school English programme. Dawn is no stranger to CASME having been the team leader for the Zenex Foundation Inkanyezi Project. She now joins the full time project staff to drive the language programmes in the Zenex KZN Maths Science and English Schools project in the Ilembe District.
Patha Mahlabela, also no stranger to CASME having worked in the Department of Education provincial office and most recently in the Pinetown District. Phatha will be supporting our Primary and Senior Phase mathematics programmes including the Zenex Ilembe District project.
As we enter our third year of implementing the Science2Go mobile resource centre initiative, the project has reached a level of maturity that necessitated allocating a full-time resource. We are please to welcome Bongani Mlambo who joins as coordinator and facilitator for the project.
We wish them all the best and look forward to their contribution to this important field of work.
As another year draws to a close it is a good time to pause and reflect. This end of year message for 2016 comes to you as an expression of gratitude for the part you have played in another significant year in the life of CASME as we continue in our efforts to realise our vision of changing learners lives through quality and innovative mathematics and science education.
In 2016 CASME celebrated its 30 year commitment to this vision, which is founded on the unbending dedication to redressing educational inequality. At this milestone CASME concluded a strategic planning phase that sets out key focus areas for the next three years. Our strategic focus includes a recommitment to our core purpose of teacher professional development. Within this focus is a renewed and expanded dedication to work at the primary schooling level and a plan to deliver accredited programmes both as a SACE and ETDP SETA accredited provider.
We have also identified ICTs for Teaching and Learning and will be working towards taking our programmes online over the next few years.
The third focus area is in the increasingly important realm of monitoring, evaluation and research. We published the first in a series of Learning Briefs with more to follow as our internal Knowledge Management Working Group sets about turning our internal monitoring and evaluation data into meaningful lessons and reflections.
And finally, acknowledging the scale and depth of the crisis in education we commit to partnerships and collaboration in order to increase our impact in education. We are proud to have partnered with the NECT on delivering a 9 day short course for high school teachers across 6 districts in 3 provinces.
As our partners in education you will be pleased to know that in 2016 our engagement, through 830 unique activities, was not insignificant.
In 2016 we made our mark internationally when we partnered with MAHLE Behr SA, the Ethekwini Municipality and UKZN in February to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Practical Science Lesson with over 2000 Grade 9 learners taking part. And in November we took a team of Grade 7 learners from Umlazi to Lucknow India to compete in the WIZMIC 2017 contest.
In partnership with East Coast Radio and MAHLE Behr SA we took to the airwaves for an enormously successful campaign to spark the interest of learners in science. The campaign took us to high schools from Clermont to Umlazi and reached millions of listeners throughout the province.
None of these successes would be possible without your continued support and commitment to our work. We are grateful to have had generous contributions by our donor partners from the business sector and independent trusts who continue to recognise the importance of quality education for the future of all South Africans.
We encourage you to continue. Individually you can do so by clicking on the button below or contact us to talk about funding opportunities.
Our office will re-open on 4 January 2017. We look forward to connecting with you during the course of 2017 and wishing you all the best for a restful festive season with family and loved ones.
Yours in education
Acting CEO: CASME
CASME's learner tuition programmes have a track record of assisting learners to achieve better results in their National Senior Certificate.
In 2015 we were proud to have a number of learners achieving distinctions in Mathematics and Science. One of our star learners achieved 100% for Mathematics and 98% for Physical Sciences.
Despite these achievements many of our students, like so many, struggle to fund their studies beyond schooling.
The purpose of this fundraising campaign is to build a fund to assist these learners with the costs associated with their studies.
Your support of this important campaign is vital and much appreciated.
Click the link below to access the Given Gain campaign page to make your donation.
An exciting opportunity exists for a Senior Projects Manager to join the CASME team at its Head Office in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal. This is an opportunity to work within a challenging but rewarding environment alongside a dedicated team.
CASME is a long running and established non-profit organization whose vision is to change learners’ lives through quality and innovative mathematics and science education. The centre is embarking on a 3 year strategic programme to affirm its position as a leading non-profit centre for mathematics and science education development. The Senior Projects Manager is critical to the successful implementation of this strategic plan.
Reporting to the Director, the Senior Projects Manager is responsible for the planning, coordination and management of CASME’s educational projects. The Senior Projects Manager has oversight responsibility for implementation and evaluation of projects.
The position requires a strategic thinker with excellent people and resource management skills. Competence in planning and coordinating multiple, concurrent projects in a dynamic environment. The ability to communicate confidently and effectively, verbally and in writing. Attention to detail in analysis and reporting is essential including in budget preparation and management.
Own reliable vehicle and valid driver’s license required.
Send a concise CV including names and contact details of 3 references to firstname.lastname@example.org by 16h00 on 21 November 2016.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.
The full advertisement is available for download below.