Maths pupils from grade one to matric now have access to over 950 free maths lessons presented in their mother tongue.
This is thanks to a group of 20 passionate young South African university students, who invested hundreds of hours of their time to translate over 950 Khan Academy online video lessons from English into isiXhosa.
The entire school maths syllabus is now available on the internet in isiXhosa.
Pupils can either do the lessons individually, or they can be used in a classroom setting in which the teachers can monitor the progress of each pupil.
All the lessons and teachers modules are available for free.
They can be played on any device with a web browser.
While the Khan courses are available in over 30 languages, it is the first time the lessons have been translated into an indigenous South African language.
A Cape-based organisation, Numeric, has matched the South African school syllabus with Khan Academy lessons.
This ground-breaking translation is the brainchild of two graduates from the University of Cape Town, Adrian Cox and Pratik Pokharel, who was raised in East London.
Adrian Cox is from Durban.
The two formed a non-profit organisation called ClickMaths in 2012 in their undergraduate year with the belief that the best way to improve South Africa’s struggling mathematics education system is through the use of freely-available, open-source technology.
The two successfully tested the concept and then with the help of private backers took the project a step further with the help of a group of 20 isiXhosa-speaking students studying high-level mathematics.
The students translated the online Khan video lessons from English so that primary and secondary learners can learn mathematics in their home language.
Cox and Pokharel believe that the future of education involves a system where teachers spend less time on administrative tasks, such as preparing lessons and marking, and more time on the truly important aspects of learning. They also believe maths competency will improve dramatically if learned in a mother tongue as well as English.
The translations are based on content from Khan Academy, a world-class, free platform that allows students to customise their own learning experience.
ClickMaths isiXhosa incorporates Khan Academy video lessons, interactive assessments and advanced analytics. It is ideal for learners in and outside of the classroom to study at their own pace, according to former project manager Monique Baars.
A teacher tool component allows teachers to monitor each student’s progress and adapts the learning experience to each individual.
In the classroom teachers can help learners by monitoring their progress and goals, create personalised recommendations about what to learn next and motivates them to master the skills they seek.
Baars, says the translations have changed the lives of many of the students who worked on the project.
It took almost nine months to complete the 950 videos.
The group initially started with three translators and then increased to 20.
“We were very specific about the kind of translator we needed. Someone who could speak isiXhosa; had a good understanding of English and was involved in University level maths.
We were also conscious of the fact that this would be a part time job, so we needed students who were driven, ambitious and passionate about maths.
“Finding the candidates was the easy part as almost all Xhosa speaking students could empathise with the language barrier issue and wanted to become involved to help their own communities and families.
“Our interview and selection process was very stringent, but we found the desired number of translators easily,” she says.
Baars says the beauty of the project is that the translations can be done anywhere at any time and many students actually worked at night and during the weekend to complete the work.
All translations were then checked and put through a quality control check point with an experienced linguistic expert to check for pace, tone, language and accuracy.
According to Dave Marsh, a publisher who has backed the project, the next challenge is overcoming shortages in the availability of bandwidth for some schools in the more remote areas.
He says with technology evolving all the time however students can access Khan Academy tutorials using inexpensive technology such as the Rasberry Pi, for example.
This is a wallet-sized server designed in Britain for education and costs less than R800. It holds the entire Khan Academy maths syllabus in both English and isiXhosa and can link to over 30 students in a class via Wi-Fi, without the need to be online.
Marsh confirmed that the long term vision of the project was to translate the syllabus into all the official languages. Clickmaths has already started on phase 2 of the project using mathematics undergraduates at the University of the Witwatersrand to translate the lessons into isiZulu.
Teachers and pupils who want to take advantage of this breakthrough can access it on www.learnmathsinisixhosa.co.za
The following two tabs change content below.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2014/07/maths-lessons-in-xhosa/