Last year the Makhaza branch had an opportunity to pilot a project with Education without Borders (EwB) who aims to provide improved educational opportunities and facilities in disadvantaged regions of the world. The program focussed on Grade 8s in aid to work through and understand basic math principles that highlight the simplicity of mathematics and emphasises the critical importance of foundational skills while acknowledging the complicated challenges and circumstances of life, which many of IkamvaYouth learners are coping with.

 With the phenomenal results achieved in 2011 that you can read about here, the program continued with our new cohort of grade 8s.  Beginning in January thus far they have completed two of the books in the program, and during winter school made headways into the third book.

Thus far, of the 20 learners who started the program at the beginning of 2012 in total, 3 were excluded because of poor attendance, 1 dropped out and the rest have begun to show the results expected looking at last years group. The group is a complete mix from 6 different schools in Khayelitsha.

Class Assessment

We have held two internal assessment tests during the first two terms. The first assessment test held in term 1 was based on work covered by Book 1. The second assessment test held in term 2 was based on the work covered by Book 2. The results of learners for the first two tests are shown below.


The chart above shows clearly the increase in math ability achieved by 16 of 20 Grade 8’s who wrote the assessment tests in the first two terms. Some learners were still finding it difficult to catch up with others as they still struggle to understand the basic fundamentals, however there is quite an improvement judging from term one school results.

Comparison of average percentage in Internal assessments vs. School results

It is clear that almost all learners scored higher in the internal test than their school results, not only does this program cover the basic fundamentals in basic math literacy, through the peer to peer learning and an environment created while attending tutoring sessions at IkamvaYouth that these students excel in many of their other subjects, as well as with their self confidence when approaching problems that arise and the means to approach them.


Learner performance

The learners who have be attending regularly showed great improvement and the results are showing improved confidence and with increased attendance the better the results, there has also been significant peer-to-peer learning and problem solving collaboration.

While most students show increases in results there have been 5 standout students who have excelled showing significant results with the internal tests administered as well as excelling in their school results.


Results %

Book 1   Book 2    School avg





















Looking at the past Grade 8 group currently in Grade 9: *

Since this is the second year implimenting this program with our Grade 8s, it is also interesting to look at the results of the grade 9s and to compare those who were part of initial grade 8 group versus new students in grade 9 who began this year at IkamvaYouth. To do this a test was administered with the following results:

Existing Ikamvanites scored an average of 23.6/60 on the test versus new Ikamvanites who scored an average of 19.9/60

This test is one, imperfect, snapshot of the mathematical competencies.  It could be criticised for being “too hard” and including many problems not yet covered in the syllabus. However, a very basic conclusion can be drawn that the existing Ikamvanites scored better than the new Ikamvanites and attained a higher average as a group.

* Many thanks to Andrew Einhorn for administering the tests and providing these results

Well done Grade 8s keep it up!!

Special thanks to:

Cecil and Ruth Hershler  -funding provided through Education Without Borders

‘Yes We Can’ math books writen by Dr Rahael Jalan

Nicholas Mei – Grade 8 tutor