VUMA ALONG THE N3
CHANGING THE LIVES OF THE TEACHERS AND ULTIMATELY THEIR LEARNERS
The N3 freeway between Cedara in KwaZulu-Natal and Heidelberg in Gauteng has been managed by the N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) since 1999.
N3TC’s funding for the Vula Maths and Science programme has helped provide laptops for teachers attending the Vula Mathematics Academy and Grade 12 Mathematics and Physical Science Week.
The Vula Mathematics Academy (VuMA) is a technologybased response to the mathematics teaching crisis at township and rural schools in the greater Midlands area of KwaZulu-Natal. The funds spent on laptop computers ensured that the recipients of these could participate fully in the teaching and learning activities which made up an 11-week, in-residence programme at VuMA.
The beneficiaries were exposed to a wide range of opportunities by having their own laptops. The equipment became the means by which they were able to accumulate a vast array of teaching resources electronically and take them back to their schools on completion of their time at VuMA.
VuMA continues to change the lives of the teachers, and ultimately their learners, after spending a full term in residence at Vula Lodge, Hilton College.
Since 2014, when VuMA opened, a total of 132 mathematics teachers have passed through the academy.
Of these, three have been promoted to senior subject adviser positions within the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, four have been promoted to principal posts and four are no longer teaching. The remainder, however, continue to use their laptops, skills and insights to teach mathematics to more than 25 000 learners in KZN.
As an example, Sandile Sikhosane continues to teach in a remote rural school beyond Himeville, in the foothills of the Drakensberg. Sandile uses his VuMA laptop so effectively that VuMA employs him to tutor other teachers and learners during school holiday workshops at Hilton College.
Sandile has been massively empowered by his attendance of VuMA and he is living proof of the extent to which one can determine one's own destiny, given the right tools.