End of Year Message | December 2017
Thank you to all our partners who have supported our work in Mathematics and Science education during 2017. It has been another significant year as we continue to realise our vision of changing the lives of learners through quality and innovative mathematics and science education.
2017 marked the first year of a 3 year strategic drive in 4 key areas of our engagement. First and foremost was our recommitment to our core purpose of teacher professional development. In this space we have continued to expand our work at the primary schooling level. In partnership with NPC Intercement and the Ugu District we worked with teachers and HODs in the intermediate phase as part of the South Coast Education Project. We also continued to develop accredited programmes as a SACE and ETDP SETA accredited provider.
Secondly we identified ICTs for Teaching and Learning and continue to work towards taking our programmes online over the next few years. To this end we will also be piloting a remote support project in the Ilembe district in 2018. In 2017 we rolled out the Siyavula Practice tablet programme for Grade 12 learners in the Zenex Foundation funded Izimpande Zokukhanya project in the Ilembe District of KZN.
The third focus area is in the increasingly important area of monitoring, evaluation and research under the umbrella of Knowledge Management. We developed a number of new Learning Briefs and implemented internal data processes for improving decision making.
In an ongoing effort to share our experience, the mathematics team presented at the national Association of Mathematics Educators of South Africa (AMESA) conference. CASME Acting Director, Henre Benson presented at the HRDC Communities of Practice workshop hosted by the National Research Foundation and Department of Science and Technology sharing lessons from our award winning Science2Go project. We also hosted our first series of NPO Knowledge Sharing seminars. The series covered M&E, Data Visualisation and Social Media for NPOs. To our NGO/NPO partners watch this space as Series 2 kicks off in the new year.
Owing to increased capacity we also secured work in this field including an evaluation of the SAPREF Laboratory Project and the development of a Mathematics Education Chairs Initiative Communication Brief for the First Rand Foundation which will roll out in the first half of 2018.
Our fourth focus is Partnerships and Collaboration which we see as essential to increase our impact in education, to respond to South Africa's National Development Plan and the Global Goals.
By way of example, in September CASME along with 5 other science programmes in KZN implemented a pilot project under the banner Umjikilezo WeScience. The work was presented at the SAASTEC conference in November. It is anticipated that this will lead to the establishment of a National Association of Science Outreach Programmes, which will launch with a national symposium on mobile science labs in September 2018, so watch this space.
We also continue to support the work of the National Education Collaboration Trust in KZN alongside PILO and the Jika Imfundo campaign which will take on a new size and shape in the coming year.
Finally, the strategic plan is underlined by a fifth element; Innovation and Sustainability which looks at how new energy, ideas and programmes can be brought to life in order to remain relevant in a rapidly changing education environment. It also seeks to find ways to leverage social enterpreneurship thinking to ensure long term future sustainability. In 2017 we piloted a few programmes along these lines including the Young Scientist Incubator, The Science Lab and a Tuition Schoolas well as beginning work on 2020Vision in partnership with Dr Marlies Craig.
In April 2018 we will be co-convening the Environmental Sustainable Action and Community Development Conference with the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a broad range of other partners including Ethekwini Municipality. The call for participation is available at the link above.
Ultimately the real value of CASME is in its work in communities alongside teachers, schools and the Department of Education. We were pleased to expand our Resource Centre network in 2017 with a new centre in Lamontville to support schools in Umlazi and South Durban. Thanks to Chevron for making this possible.
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 to do so and we have the perfect opportunity to do so. In partnership with Seartec on 1 December we launched the #FutureFund crowdfunding campaign with the bold target of providing 10,000 calculators to learners. Click the image below for more information.