July 2013 - Issue 2 - Maths Edition
Featured Franchises Find out what makes these centres tick
THE MASTER EDITION Franchisees • Managers • Tutors
The Palabora Foundation
The Maths of Customer Service Meet and Greet . . . The Maths Department How well do you know the Maths department?
“Mathematics is a great motivator for all humans… Because its career starts with “ZERO” but it never ends (INFINTY)…” - Vignesh R
“If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realise how complicated life is”
“Mathematics is like true love – A simple idea but can get complicated…” - Ricky Gakhar
- Tobias Dantzig
“Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things” - Henri Poincare
“The things of this world cannot be made known without a knowledge of mathematics” “Old math teachers never die, they just tend to infinity”
- Roger Bacon
“A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat which isn’t there” - Charles R. Darwin
“The essence of mathematics resides in its freedom” “In mathematics you don’t understand things. You just get used to them” - Johann von Neumann
“Life is only good for two things, discovering mathematics and teaching mathematics” - Simeon Poisson
- Georg Cantor
CONT ENTS Meet and Greet . . . The Maths Department 14 16 17 18
Bonnie Prinsloo Hannes Hattingh Diana van der Westhuizen Guillaume Oberholzer
Find out what makes these centres tick
08 09 10
Kathu Witrivier Sandringham
News & events 04 06 12 20
Mathematics As a Hot Topic: And us?
After a meeting with the Department of Education this is what we learned.
The State of the Economy
What is happening with the economy and has Master Maths been affected?
The Maths of Customer Service
Some of the numbers behind customer service.
Social Media: The numbers behind the platforms
Whatâ€™s happening with social media in South Africa?
In memory of 11
Les-Ann Wienand (Sandringham)
Articles 19 22 23
Mathematics in South Africa
We hear about maths in the news all the time, but what about the careers that depend on the subject?
The Palabora Foundation
Home to Africaâ€™s largest man-made hole, and Master Maths.
The family just keeps growing!
Meet the newest members of the Master Maths family.
Editor: Tamsin Haley | Design & layout: Trish Van Driessche
THE MATHS OF
CUSTOMER SERVICE 12 Cover design Mathematics ties everything in the universe together. Our front cover for this issue is inspired by the Fibonnacci sequence, or the Golden Radio. This is a great example of how everything is connected through a single ratio.
When I was asked to write a piece on mathematics for our magazine, I decided the best place to start was to have a look at what the current hot topics in South Africa are. News on education is always the first place to look. I believe that we should be aware about what is happening in our schools and education system, so that we as a tuition institution can empower ourselves and give our clients the service they deserve. I am a fairly positive person by nature, but have to admit that as I did more and more research on the topic, I could not stop the waves of emotions rushing over me. Certain comments leave one feeling concerned for our children, such as the following by Professor Jonathan Jansen from University of Free State: â€œI would seriously consider not sending my child to school in South Africa, for one simple reason: I do not trust a system that makes it possible for a child to pass Grade 12 with 30% in some subjects and 40% in other subjects. I would be filled with fear when I discover that you can get 32% in Mathematics and 27% in Physical Science and still get an official document that says you can continue to study towards a Bachelors degree at university.â€? (www.moneyweb.co.za, published 24/02/12, retrieved 12/06/13) Recently Master Maths had the wonderful privilege of being invited to a meeting convened by the Minister of Basic Education, Minister Angie Motshekga. The meeting was an opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion on the state of Mathematics, Science and Technology education in South Africa. Being invited to such a discussion is itself a feather in our cap! There were plenty of aspects about the conversation that Master Maths does not have the power to determine or change, such as policy and strategy. However, some things are in our power. The first aspect we have control over is our product. We, as Franchisor, can continue to give you, the Franchisee, the best product possible to help your learners and to enable you to give your clients the best service you can offer them. 4
A few different points were raised by teachers and officials from the various Provincial Departments, which we as Master Maths should take note of: The shortage of skilled and qualified Mathematics teachers: this has far reaching consequences, as many schools are forced to only offer Mathematical Literacy or can only allow a small number of learners to choose Mathematics. We have all had an experience where it was felt that a learner did not have the potential to proceed with Mathematics, and was left with no choice but to take Mathematical Literacy as a subject. At times like this, you can almost hear the doors of future employment opportunities slam closed on this learner. We have seen how many learners who were not deemed mathematically “competent”, excel after a few months at Master Maths and that they have the potential to pass Mathematics! Our task becomes more than offering maths assistance. Working with teachers, we can help to guide our clients to make an informed decision which will help them in the long run. The Department was asked to re-think the fact that Mathematics and Mathematical Literacy are the only two options for a learner. A few teachers at this meeting felt strongly that an alternative choice (potentially similar to the old SG Mathematics) should also be available. This was brushed over, so I doubt that it will be considered in the very near future, but who knows! It was requested that the ANA test be moved to the end of Grade 9 to act as a benchmark tool to assess whether a child will be suited to take Mathematics as a subject – no comment. There was also a call from the floor to extend the school day. Whether the Department will act on this, we will have to see. I doubt very much that this will be accepted by the Unions though. If in future this is a serious discussion point, it may have an effect on the operating hours of our centres. We will cross that bridge when we get there.
I’ll end by sharing with you a wonderful experience I had a few weeks ago. Due to heavy fog in Cape Town my flight from Johannesburg was delayed by four hours. The restaurant at Lanseria Airport was packed and I offered a seat at my table to a lady waiting to be seated. We started chatting and she mentioned that I looked familiar. We did the normal, do you gym, etc… and then ended with what we do for a living. Great was my surprise to realise this was one of my parents from years ago. Little Alistair Dunn’s mom!! To cut a long story short when we (eventually) landed I walked out to see a young man walking toward me (his mom sms’ed him). He recognised me and gave me a huge hug. I looked up at his face and immediately remembered the smile and the naughty eyes – he was ten then – now he is a solid man who is twenty-five years old, an accountant and a really very handsome bloke – his words to me were “I will always be grateful to Master Maths…”
State of the Economy By Martin Welgens
Consumers are worried. Earlier this year the BER (Bureau for Economic Research) reported that Consumer Confidence reached the lowest level (-7) in recent history. This is marginally lower than the -6 level reached during the heart of the most recent recession. The fact that consumers are so pessimistic when we are not officially in a recession is troubling.
SOUTH AFRICA CONSUMER CONFIDENCE 25 20
SOURCE: WWW.TRADINGECONOMICS.COM | BUREAU FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH
In contrast, businesses in South Africa are not quite as pessimistic as consumers. The Business Confidence Index is currently at 48 (50 is neutral), which is much better than the confidence rating of 23, reached during the 2009 recession.
SOUTH AFRICA BUSINESS CONFIDENCE 80
41 40 30
SOURCE: WWW.TRADINGECONOMICS.COM | BUREAU FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH
Consumer spending grew at the slowest pace (2.3%) since the last recession. This was primarily due to an average of 2.2% growth in consumer income. Medical, communication and educational services continue to be under pressure, with only 1.1% growth in spending in this sector. 6
The latest inflation figures (5.6%) came in lower than expected, primarily due to the large cut in the fuel price in May. Inflation is expected to average 5.8% for 2013. Inflation in the education sector increased at 9% per annum. versus 9.2%, 8.6% and 9% for the years 2010 to 2012 respectively. The largest factor in these above general inflation increases is undoubtedly the increases in teacher salaries over the period. The limited supply of quality education (available space at schools), and the switch to private and semi-private schools, may also be a factor driving price increases. The weak Rand has resulted in another increase in the fuel price which has now reached a new all-time high. On the positive side exporters are beginning to take advantage of the weak currency and consumers may be purchasing more local goods (imports are down significantly, but this is primarily in machinery, equipment and durable goods at this stage). After a long period of decline, the property sector seems to be improving (albeit at a very slow pace). This is often a leading indicator of future performance and may bode well for our economy in the near future. Now is also a good time for renters since real rental rates have declined for the last four years. State of Master Maths (to May 2013) So what does all of the above mean for our business? My stats show that the majority of Master Maths centres (75%) are in fact up in terms of sales. Our learner numbers and enrolments are bang on where they were last year, so the increase in sales has to be from selling more hours to our existing clients. Selling the correct number of hours is critical, since a learner can not improve if they do not get sufficient support. While I am extremely grateful that we are maintaining the position of our business in this troubled economic climate, we need to be cognizant of the fact that only 55% of centres have increased learner numbers. Since we traditionally enroll more learners towards the end of the year, we need to focus on providing outstanding service to our existing clients, so that we can grow our client base. We also need to ensure that we are spending sufficiently on advertising and that the advertising we do spend on is effective. The economy will always have an effect on our business; to think differently would be illogical. The important thing is not to panic when times are tough because then we make mistakes. We can mitigate the effects of the economy; by refocusing and ensuring that our clients are satisfied with our service, by ensuring that we deliver results. In general we are very satisfied with our performance to date. Many Franchisees have done incredibly well and many are down fractionally, only because they outperformed in 2012. The vast majority of our businesses are vibrant and thriving, thanks to your good efforts. We look forward to seeing what the remainder of 2013 has to offer!
Master Maths Kathu was started in 2005 by Karina Reitz. She was first introduced to the system by a friend who was a past employee at the Upington centre. Before the bug to open her own centre bit her, she was a maths teacher at a secondary school in Olifantshoek, but that was not the beginning of her teaching career! She’s been teaching since she graduated with her National Teaching Diploma [she wouldn’t say when! –Ed]. Karina was the winner of Category B at the Master Maths Franchisee awards evening this year! In addition, she also won the overall Franchisee of the Year award! When asked what makes her centre run so well, Karina had this to say: “I think I have a gift for explaining maths to kids so that they understand. Furthermore, I believe in positive encouragement. The self-esteem of the kids is a priority too. Therefore I do not scold or make any negative remarks to any learner. If I can’t say anything to boost them, I won’t say anything at all.”
Meet the Team!
“Maths has become a curse”, is Karina’s worry. “Learners can no longer solve problems, as they have grown up in an environment where they are no longer taught to be independent individuals”. Because of this, she sees each day as an opportunity to reach out to another child, and help them to excel. One of the important functional aspects of the Kathu centre is that time is taken to win each learner’s trust. Karina lets each learner know that she will walk the extra mile to help them. The moment that makes her day is when a child says, “Tannie, maar wiskunde is nie so erg nie!” There are a few qualities that Karina believes help her to run a successful centre: patience, positivity, and a love for what she does. Karina embodies all of these characteristics. Even if she just helps one child to realise that maths is not a big monster, she will happily keep on doing what she does. 8
Hester van Niekerk
The winner of Category C this year was Louna Stevens from Witrivier! The centre has only been up and running since 2010, so this was a remarkable achievement. Before Louna started her own centre, she worked as a maths teacher, and then as a tutor at a few different schools. She also worked at both the Randpark Ridge and Brits Master Maths centres and, just before opening her own centre, did one-on-one tutoring in Witbank. The journey to owning her own business was definitely an interesting one! Louna has many great experiences with her centre and her staff. One of the aspects she loves most about her centre is “the enthusiasm with which the children work at their maths after realising that they can achieve their goals”. Louna recalls many times that she and her staff enjoyed lighter moments with the learners, like when they compete with each other to see who does the best in their “How to’s” and the two minute timetable tests! Louna’s heart warms when she sees “the sparkle in a learner’s eyes when they reach their goals”. The Witriver centre is situated perfectly in her area. Louna has noticed that the learners really enjoy spending time at the centre, and that the tutors’ genuine interest in each person helps to cultivate this environment. The team works hard to ensure that the focus is on exam preparation, while being friendly and helpful at all times. Louna also sees the value in running her centre professionally and with the necessary discipline to provide quality education. However, no journey in life is without obstacles. Louna has had a few problems, including a burglary during which all her laptops were stolen. She also accepted the challenge of moving to bigger premises. She now knows that no obstacle is too big to overcome and this confidence can be seen clearly in her professional and thoughtful management of her business. Louna believes that focusing on who she is and what’s inside of her enables her to work hard at what she’s good at each day. Louna said that, “life is about the relationships that we have with people, and goals are very hard to achieve if you are doing it alone”.
Meet the Team!
Surika van der Merwe
Etrescia du Preez
Carole Rice 9
Master Maths Sandringham has been around since 2008. Lesley-Ann Wienand was with the centre from the beginning, and has owned it for the past few years. The centre has just gone through another transition, as Len and Shannon, Les-Ann’s husband and daughter, lead the centre into its next era. Sandringham was awarded the Cup for Category A, at the Franchisee of the Year Awards for 2012. The centre has done extremely well to continue running so successfully over the last while, which is a testament to Les-Ann’s leadership. This centre team knows from first hand experience that obstacles placed in your way may be larger than you expected them to be, but working together can lighten the load. The strength they have found in each other will enable them to face any adversity. There are also lighter moments. Shannon recalls how, though not Jewish herself, Les-Ann had an absolute love for all artefacts with a Jewish origin. Apparently there are still drawers and cupboards, at the centre, which reveal little hidden treasures when opened. Les-Ann seems to have been given many gifts over the years, which she loved and cherished. When asked what helps to make the centre run smoothly, Shannon and Len replied that they rely on well trained staff, and ensure that the tutors are at their best at all times. Another important aspect is that the centre is very well positioned, so potential clients find it easily. Les-Ann was a large part of the centre, her personality and warmth encouraged learners to open up. It often happened that learners would pop into the centre just to tell her how they did in their latest test, to celebrate with her, or be comforted if the results were not as good as expected. What makes the work worthwhile is seeing how their learners celebrate even the smallest increases in their marks, and how proud the parents are of their children’s progress. The staff see it as a privilege to be trusted by parents, who “lend” their children to them for a short while, to help mould these young people into the adults they will become. 10
Meet the Team!
Jani van der Pol
“She was a wonderful wife, mo�er, friend, advis�, counci��, who made every person who had contact wi� her f�l �at �ey were �e most imp�tant person in �e w�ld. Everyone, including pump attendants, waiters, beggars, co�eagues, strangers, was ca�ed ‘darling’” – Len, Husband
ile is Though her smer gone f�ev dI And her han sti� I , h uc to cannot y have so man one e � of s ie mem� h. I love so muc is Her mem�y my k�psake I wi� Wi� which, has od G , rt pa never ping I her in his k�y heart. m in er h have but Sadly missed en tt go f� never
¼ poun d ¼ tsp s butter 1¼ bak alt in 2 cups 1 egg g powder flour Just ov 1 er ½ cu ts p of ca p vanilla ster sug Preper ar ations
Cream bu Add eg tter and suga gs and r until va creamy Add dr . y ingre nilla. die Bake a t 350°F nts. fo 15 to 2 0 minu r approxima tes. tely
1952 - 2013
Mom ’s Milk Ingred
Tart The Fi
3 T ma zin 3 T flo a (cornflour) ur ¼ tsp s alt 1L mil k
lling 1 T butt er 2 eggs 1tsp va nil ¾ caste la r sugar
Preper ati Beat eg ons g Mix flo s, sugar and v ur with anilla w m Add th e egg m azina and sa ith a little mil k. lt with ixture. Just be a li Pu fo Let the re boiling add t rest of milk ttle milk. to m m Mix in ixture bubble ixture and k boil. eep stir well a few ti rin mes an Pour in d add b g. to utter. Chill ti pastry shell ll read a y to ser nd sprinkle w ve. ith cinn amon.
y is e � at ho sp ita lit “Mom ta ug ht m le ar e op Pe e. liv we so m e� in g � at as su ch . we tr ea t � em im p� ta nt an d til a po lic y � at un Ou r ho m e ha d re we u yo , ed ﬁ� ce wa s ea ch ﬂo � -s pa – t” d � e ni gh we lco m e to sp en D au gh te r e, an -J ey ac Tr
g takin rless ent a e f d m ud an mmit i f e l o 10 0 % c o r e n t l y . l d e liv ffe � rd “ Yo u y t a s k w i t o d o i t d i t i c i s m h a i r c m t ever a a d e dr lt � t an a n d a j u d g e m e n i f y o u f e b y y o u .” u k o e o y o d t ed en d Yo u r � off t pain and i was hurt , Daughte n e o n n o an some – Sh
“I can constantly s� you smiling. You were always smiling – at people you knew and absolute strangers. You never had a problem saying s�ry. Even when someone bumped into you, you would apologise. It was always so amazing at how much you loved children. No child went unloved by you and each child you met went onto your prayer list.” – Felicity, Daughter
he r “A m o� er ho ld s w hi le , a f� s ch ild re n’s ha nd f� ev er , an d bu t � ei r he ar ts ld m y he ar t m um yo u w i� ho an d ev er .” f� ev er an d ev er gh te r – Yol an di , D au
“I lo o aunt k aroun d at s an d Li e z el an perhap my siste rs a s mo over d s� nd s w rich ho we your ﬁn t of a� a are. gerp lega Yo c y .” – rin t Ni c h u h a v e l t s a � e olas , Son ft a
THE MATHS OF
CUSTOMER SERVICE In light of the fact that Master Maths produces excellent customer service, we would like to present the following info-graphic, to illustrate why we are so great! Take a look at the statistics and see if you feel and react the same way as the general public. Even though most of the numbers are from the USA, we in South Africa can definitely relate.
3 out of 5 people would try a new brand or company for a better service experience.
The Average American tells 9 people about a good experience.
If a complaint is resolved in the customers favour, there is a 70% chance they will do business with you again.
By: Marius Myburg
The average business only hears from about 4% of their dissatisfied customers.
91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again.
The average American tells 16 people about their bad service experience.
It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for 1 unresolved negative one.
o m t s u er Servic C l a n r e t e n I
It is 6 to 7 times more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to keep a current one.
The probability of selling to a prospective customer: 5% to 20%.
The probability of selling to an existing customer: 60% to 70%. Companies spent 55% of their marketing budget to acquire new customers, 35% for brand awareness and only 12% on customer relations. Does this budgeting make sense?
81% of companies with strong capabilities and competencies for delivering customer experience excellence are outperforming their competitors.
70% of buying experience is based on how customers feel they are being treated. 7 out of 10 customers said they are willing to spend more with companies that they believe provide exceptional customer service.
In the last year, 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration when they could not talk to a real person. Imagine their frustration when a phone just rings… Employees only ask for a customer’s name 21% of the time. They have a name 100% of the time. 80% of customers prefer to speak with a representative over the weekend.
78% of customers have bailed on a transaction, or not made an intended purchase, because of poor customer service. 80% of companies say they deliver superior customer service.
41% of customers expect an email response within 6 hours of contacting a business.
8% of people surveyed think these same companies deliver superior customer service.
27% of email enquiries are answered incorrectly.
24 hours is the longest time for an expected response.
A reply within one hour creates the WOW factor!
Why customers quit: 1% pass away 3% move away 14% are dissatisfied with the product 9% leave due to competitors 68% quit because of an attitude of indifference towards customers from the staff.
Sources: 1. American Express Survey, 2011. 2. Consumer Report Survey, 2011. 3. “Understanding customers”, Ruby Newell-Legner. 4. Marketing metrics. 5. White House Office of Consumer Affairs. 6. McKinsey. 7. “Customer Service Hell”, Brad Tuttle, Time 2011. 8. Lee Resources. 9. Contact Point Client Research. 10. Zak Stambor, Internet Retailer, 2010. 11. Forrester Research Inc., 2008. 12. “Email Customer Service in North American Small and Medium Businesses”, Bendmark Portal, 2005. 13. Mobius Poll 2002. 14. Customer Experience Maturity, Peppers and Rogers, 2009. 15. “How to win customers and keep them for life”, Michael le Boeuf, 2000.
MEET and GREET . . . THE MATHS DEPARTMENT
Bonnie Prinsloo Bonnie is the newest addition to the maths team! She was born in Pinelands, Cape Town, but travelled a bit further away to study, and graduated from the University of Pretoria with a Bachelors of Science. Her majors were Mathematics, Botany and Geography. She then completed her Higher Education Diploma through UNISA. Her love of maths started at a young age, when she was fascinated with astronomy and the history of numbers. The discovery that everything in the universe fits together in a pattern, and that everything is connected through maths, led her to want to learn more. Her first discovery went along these lines: Bonnie’s given name is Petra; the letter “p” in the Greek alphabet is π or pi; the ratio of the circumference of any circle in the Universe to its diameter is pi; so therefore Bonnie is connected to the Universe through pi! This discovery may also have led to her perfect housing solution. Rather than pick a country to live in, Bonnie would love to live in a big bubble-biosphere. The specifications of the biosphere include a willow tree, a small stream, a big chair with a tea and a coffee pot, plenty of books and a cat. She would then be able to move past galaxies and stellar nebulae, listening to the music of the spheres. All of this should tell you that Bonnie’s favourite topic in maths is geometry. She feels that it can be compared to solving any problem in life: you have to know the basics, learn the theory and look very carefully at what the given values are. Then you need to look at the problem from all angles, use whatever you can to solve it, think outside the box and apply clear thinking while considering all the information. You could say that maths has defined her philosophy of life. As far as work experience is concerned, Bonnie has been everywhere. From lecturing at a college, teaching at a number of schools, working in an electron microscope laboratory, to being the Educational Advisor to teachers in a Public-Private Partnership “School Improvement Project” in Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi. The most interesting teaching experience she has had took place at Boys Town in the 1990s, where she worked with students that were tough to reach because of the circumstances in their lives. Their emotional struggles, and lack of confidence and motivation, taught Bonnie how to reach the most unmotivated and undisciplined learners. She was able to help develop a system that worked for the Boys’ Town boys, as well as for herself. It is great to hear that she is still in contact with these learners.
A bibliophile caught in action
Butto my do n g
My Dad My Hero
Bonnie has always had a passion for helping learners to understand concepts and to see them gain confidence in their own abilities. For this reason, she decided to join Master Maths. She can now reach thousands of learners, by creating great lessons that can inspire and motivate learners, and cultivate a joy for maths. She also looks forward to working with our excellent team and learning a lot from Bon nie takes her inspiration for teaching from them. Her favourite part of the job is William Arthur Ward: analysing what needs to be done to a great lesson, one which helps Wax museum with develop “The Mediocre teacher tells, learners to get a better understanding of my favourite maths concepts and excite them about The Good teacher explains, person maths! Th Welcome to the team Bonnie! 14
e Superior teacher demonstrates, The Great teacher inspires.”
n in ng a falco ai. i r i m d A - Dub t r e s e d e h t
Buying carpets in Jordan.
In classroom in Al-Ain.
High tea at the top of the Burj Al Arab - Dubai.
Dressed i garderob n traditional e Al-A in.
Following in the footsteps of Pythagoras.
Hot air balloon ride over the UAE desert. Petra Jordan
My favourite place in the world.
On the way to swim in the Dead Sea.
Hugging the gingo biliba tree in the Kew gardens.
With my in ler carpet sel ha Al Ma n dressed i burkha
Mount Nebo Jordan
udents mirati st E h t i W in. in Al-A
Physics prac in Qatar. Travelling in Jordan.
Hannes Hattingh Hannes decided to go into maths because he loves the subject, and feels that the best part about it is being able to teach it. He has almost always been involved in teaching, starting from his first job, to being the Head of Department at a number of schools, and being the Principal at Riverside High in Vereeniging and PH Moeketsi Agricultural High School. His most amazing teaching experience was when two hundred learners from Sebokeng schools got together in one large room to receive help in preparation for their final school exams. Hannes remembers never having to tell anyone to pay attention or to keep quiet, as they were so eager to learn. Then he decided to open a restaurant and pub in Gordon’s Bay, which is also his favourite place in the world. His decision to join Master Maths was motivated by the fact that he wanted to get back into a teaching environment. His work involves proof reading, editing and translating modules and printed material. He also writes modules, notes and worksheets. His favourite part of his job is translating. Teaching is something that Hannes is extremely passionate about. He believes that a good teacher must have a passion to teach, and they must be able to make their students passionate about the subject. He defines the qualities that a good teacher/tutor should have as: compassion, warmth, being accessible to their learners and caring. It’s also very important that they should know the curriculum, grade plans and the modules that they need to cover with their learners. They should be able to discipline without being rude, and encourage learners to succeed by identifying gaps in an individual’s education. When Hannes isn’t working, he enjoys a good meal of steak and vegetables, reading, a walk along the beach, photography and wood work.
"A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so w ell that no one wo uld find fault w ith what he has do ne" - John Henry N
In case you were wondering what Hannes’s qualifications are: Bsc, BComm, Bed and HED 16
MEET and GREET . . . THE MATHS DEPARTMENT
MEET and GREET . . . THE MATHS DEPARTMENT
Di van der Westhuizen Born in Wales (not to be confused with England!) in the UK, Di has had an interesting journey in more ways than one. She enjoys eating out at fine restaurants, and not doing any cooking. At some point she was a model, but the pictures have all been “packed away” and are “not accessible” for this publication. She enjoyed doing dog training and obedience work for many years, with German Shepherds, and started Choral singing in 1986. She met her husband through this shared passion, and they currently both sing in the Cape Town Philharmonia and Symphony choirs. Her studies began with a BSc, with Physics and Chemistry as dual majors and Maths as a subsidiary, which she then completed with a teaching training qualification. She has also done an MBA, a BA majoring in South African History and Psychology and a Bed (with honours) in Educational Psychology. Maths and the Sciences are her passions, but her choice to teach maths was for a purely practical reason: you don’t need a laboratory to do so. Di arrived in South Africa in 1970, and found that she could not work at a government school without an appropriate Afrikaans qualification. So she taught at a number of private schools, including the Waldorf School. She ran a reception (Grade R) class at Notre Dame Convent. She took the opportunity to begin teaching learners who were “reading ready” to read. As this was not part of the curriculum, the books had to be hidden away each time there was an inspection! She then moved to the UCT Chemical Engineering department where she took part in a Water Research Project, and performed chemical analysis for MSc candidates. When she saw a tutor advert for Master Maths, she decided this could be a new challenge for herself, and began working with Jo : and Shelia Gero in 1980. Opening her own rience g expe n i h c a Franchise was the next step, so Di took the ting te +/- 45 interes he UK lds in t t s n i o g m n o hi r Di’s plunge and opened Tokai in 1986, which she ive yea ief teac ing rel ok after 35 f Falkirk, o d s a “I w ran successfully for ten years before selling. By this stage she had a long d to lo hool in her go. I ha class at a sc school the ot r a s r a e y association with Head Office and Johan and Petro. She was excited about e ove eption at the the rec fter arriving d I had to tak eeks w n A a r3 d. ill the proposal of computerising the programme, since maths is one of the Scotlan teacher fell e year olds fo rything e v n i v o f i e t 0 d p rece more difficult subjects to teach in a classroom, as all learners have I had 7 year! We di l ss too. her cla d of the schoo aint!” different maturation levels. She was so excited about it that she decided p n except at the e to join Head Office. She now project manages the “Printed Material” department, provides answers for maths in the lower grades, and proofreads modules in maths and sometimes science. She emphasises that she only does the English proofreading! Her favourite aspect about her work is the variety of different tasks she gets to do. 17
Guillaume Oberholzer Guillaume’s story of how he came to join Master Maths has been left in his own words. Enjoy his trip down memory lane.
I was born in the great town of Kroonstad. Soon we moved to Bloemfontein where I started school, then we moved on to Johannesburg where I matriculated. I graduated at the University of Stellenbosch (yes, I am, what you guys so fondly call: a rock spider!) I taught at quite a few schools, the highlight was my 9 years at SACS! Here I taught some of the most intelligent boys that you can hope to find. Some of them made it big time in the world, but still remember the old days when they were pupils at a great school… reunions happen regularly! During the years 1981 and 1982 Peter and I met at Fairmont High School where he was teaching and I did relief teaching. We had a common interest in teaching Maths and that interest was taken further when he joined Master Maths, still under the management of the Geros. It was based in Cape Town and still used the “high tech” system of audio tape and text. For the first number of years I was part-time, then full-time, and now once again part-time. In the beginning we sat for hours on end planning and discussing the change to a “computerized” Master Maths. Remember: this is more than 20 years ago. Just think of the advances in computer technology since then. How did we do it? Goodness knows. The first module we took to the MASA convention at Turfloop at Pietersburg: counting cubes! It created quite a stir. Most people were rather sceptical; one company actually was openly rude, by saying: “they profess to teach but it is a scam”! Since then we have really made huge strides and the original modules are merely museum pieces now. Some of you should recall the days of the first Afrikaans modules. That task was mine and mine alone for the first number of years. Nowadays it is unthinkable NOT to have modules in both English and Afrikaans. In 1996 I took the famous “package”, and soon afterwards I was mostly full-time at Master Maths. Up to this day I am still in the business of writing modules - I am actually “technologically disadvantaged” - and so I write them with pencil on paper. The graphic artists and typists can testify to my bad handwriting! My wife and I have had the privilege of travelling extensively… all over the world. We do not begrudge a single cent we have spent in doing so. Our memories are very dear to us. I have been associated with Master Maths for many years and as most of you are fully aware, I am the “most senior” member of the MM society. I still love the daily interaction with Maths. It keeps my mind alert and working, especially the problems you guys cannot solve and then send to Head Office. I have had many hours of great fun to get those solutions. Carry on please! My wish is that Master Maths will continue to prosper and grow!
MEET and GREET . . . THE MATHS DEPARTMENT
Mathematics in South Africa The World Economic Forum report published at the beginning of this year, ranked South Africa’s Mathematics 43% and Physical Sciences education second last amoungst the 144 economies they reviewed. LIMPOPO The development of these subjects supports the future of our country’s economy. South Africa has many learners who need encouragement to firstly, finish school, secondly, choose Mathematics over 34% 37% 37% Mathematical Literacy and thirdly, to do well in order to further their studies at MPUMALANGA tertiary institutions. Let’s take a look at some of the statistics from the 2012 GAUTENG NORTH WEST National Senior Certificate examinations to get a better idea of how many 45% learners need help. The map shows what percentage of Grade 12’s wrote the 38% FREE STATE 30% Mathematics papers in 2012. NORTHERN CAPE
Learners need to be motivated to take Mathematics until the end of Grade 12 and to aim to achieve a Bachelor’s pass. The jobs in South Africa which have the biggest shortages require tertiary education, and they all need maths to support them.
33% EASTERN CAPE WESTERN CAPE
The top 10 jobs that are sorely needed in South Africa at the moment are: 1 Engineering and Built Environment professionals
4 Law professionals
8 Management professionals
5 City Planners
2 Health professionals
6 IT/ICT professionals
9 Education professionals
3 Finance professionals
7 Natural Science professionals
10 Transport professionals
How is this the case if there are more than 600 000 graduates in the country without a job? Our education system does not always support learners when it comes to taking maths as a subject. There are many reasons for this, such as too few maths teachers. It is because of these reasons that learners decide not to take maths at school. Without maths, their ability to study the degree of their choice is severely limited. None of the jobs associated with non-maths degrees are in critical need of more people, and if anything these job avenues are saturated. So learners not only need to take maths, they need to choose a degree path that can guarantee them a job after they study. Even a diploma from a technicon or certificate courses from an FET collage are perceived to have a poor labour market value. Employers would rather employ someone with a university degree. This is where we step in! We are giving learners the opportunity to make the best out of taking maths as a subject. This will help them to gain access to tertiary education to study further. We can instill a love for mathematics in these learners, so that a career based on maths will be something they pursue, rather than shy away from. You have a direct influence in shaping the future of South Africa, and your influence will be felt for the rest of your learners’ lives.
math r e t s a m
Sources: 1. The Financial Development Report 2013, World Economic Forum. 2. National Senior Certificate Examination: Technical Report 2012, Department of Basic Education 3. South Africa’s Skill Crisis by Gill Connellan, ASDFSA. 4. Young, jobless and desperate – Degrees with no guarantees, www.citypress.co.za, June 2013.
Social Media The numbers behind the platform Social media is still growing, but what’s happening in South Africa?
#3 m we os bs t p ite op in ula SA r
By Tamsin Haley
Social media is one of the most talked about phenomena to have struck the world in the last two decades. A customer’s thinking can be influenced by content on social media. It also gives them the power to join in the conversation and tell businesses what their opinions are. We know that social media is big, but how big is it in South Africa? Below is a look at three of the social media platforms that Master Maths is currently using to connect with our clients.
Over 6.1 Million users in South Africa 5.2 million people who us e a mobile device to acce ss the site 3.2 million people who us e their smart phones to co Still the fastest growing sit nnect to the site e in South Africa with + 10 0 000 new users each mo 2.8 million users are abov nth! e the ag e of 18 Where are the users based 80 0 mi llion updates each day ? Johannesburg 1.3 million Cape Town 960 000 Pretoria 840 000 Durban 550 0002 48% of users are female 52% of users are male The Master Ma ths account is currently fol
rent Facebook users in So
uth Africa (19 June 2013).
There are 405 000 Active South African accounts, but many more are unactive. There are 520 unique (first time they are visiting the site) South African users daily. South Africa sends out 115 000 tweets a day
4m we os bs t p ite op in ula SA r
lowed by 0.055% of the cur
Where are the users based? Johannesburg 19 684 Cape Town 14 273 Pretoria 6 5372
Most followed account in South Africa: 1 goal (@join1goal): 78 751 followers Fastest growing account in South Africa: Pick ‘n Pay: 578 new followers daily
The Master Maths account is currently followed by 0.14% of the active
#17 most popula r
websit e in SA
and growin g
South African accounts (19 June 2013).
In 2012, this site was considered to be a fledgling with 150 000 users in South Africa Its growth in South Africa is currently ahead of all of the world’s averages.
Judging by the amount of enquiries we receive on our social media platforms and the amount of people who interact with our posts, its safe to say that we are gaining the attention of social media users. The more interaction there is on a post, the more people get to see it. This is where you can help!
Facebook Dos: If there is a post that you think works on our Facebook page, share it. You can also comment on it to get the conversation going. If you find something that you would like to share on the page, feel free to share it. Remember: people react much better to positive news. If you find something and you’re not too sure if it’s the right content, add it to the Master Maths and Science Family Group. Then have a look at the public page a while later. There’s a good chance that you will see your post there!
Facebook Don’ts: Don’t hashtag (this is when you add # in front on a word). It has been accepted as an official Facebook function, but it tends to annoy people. Don’t share negative content/comments. If you feel that some of the content is inappropriate or incorrect, inform us privately. Please do not share posts about learners, parents and teachers. Inform us if you would like to brag about one of your learners. We need to go through the right channels to protect their identity and get their permission.
Twitter Dos: Retweet our posts. If more people see them, then more people will discover us. Feel free to send us comments on posts. Interactions increase a post’s listing, and people are more likely to see it. Retweet the post and add your own comment to it.
Twitter Don’ts: Don’t add to many hashtags to a post. People get irritated if they can’t read it easily. Stay away from negative comments.
Pinterest Dos: Share our pins and help us expose more people to Master Maths. Find your centre on the page, repin and add a personal comment. If you think you have a better description for one of our pins, repin it and add it.
Pinterest Don’ts: No negative descriptions. Pinterest is all about sharing what we enjoy. If the picture has a website in the writing, please don’t delete it. Leave it on the repin and more people will find their way to our website. All of these points are suggestions on how you can get involved to help us promote our business online. Feel free to join in when you want to, and to take a break and see what everyone else is saying. We are looking forward to having a great online chat with you! Sources: 1. The Hard facts about internet usage and social media in South Africa today, 2013. 2. “The current state of Social Media in South Africa, Gillian Meyer, 2013. 3. www.socialbaker.com, 18 June 2013. 4. www.southafricainfo.co.za 21
The Palabora Foundation Phalaborwa is home to the Parabora Mining Company and Africa’s widest man-made hole, but it definitely has something else going for it! The mine has set up a foundation to assist with empowering the local community through education, community health and economic development. This is known as the Palabora Foundation. Their slogan; “Assisting local communities to be self-reliant”, drives all the work that they do. This includes providing opportunities for their learners to take part in Olympiads and the Eskom Young Scientisits Expo, which gives learners the opportunity to improve and excel at maths and science. They have also become involved with a number of service providers that cater for early development needs, learner support programmes and in-service education and support for teachers. Since 1994, Master Maths has had the privilege of being one of these learner support programmes. They started with only one centre of 28 workstations, but now have 2 centres with a total of 120 occupied work stations at any given time. Apart from the centre, they are also providing training, hardware and support to three schools in the area for which they sponsor the licensing of the Master Maths system. The Foundation ensures that they run their centres exactly like any other Master Maths centre, and that their learners use the system in the correct manner. They are extremely strict with who they allow into the centres. With the help of the headmaster from Frans du Toit High School, they select learners who show promise in the field of Mathematics. The learners then have to attend all the sessions they are booked for, unless they have a valid excuse. If the learners are not making use of the opportunity afforded to them, they are asked to leave and another learner is allocated their spot. This ensures that the learners who are at the centres receive the best help possible, and that they can make the most of the learning experience. More than 500 learners are currently enrolled at the foundation’s centres. In 2008, the Foundation had 58 grade 12 learners enrolled in the Master Maths centres. Every single one of these learners passed their exams, with an average of 60.5% for this group, and 12 learners passed with distinction. The highest mark was 97%. For this great achievement, they were honoured for Exceptional Service, and received a standing ovation from the Franchisees who were present at the 2009 conference. Eric Mamba and Jacob Thobejane accepted these awards. The Foundation has been doing amazing work at these centres, and empowering not only the learners that attend the classes, but the tutors as well. Many of the tutors are teachers who volunteer to help out, and they admit that they gain as much from the experience as the learners do. It’s great to see a Foundation that does such amazing work and which uplifts their community. Now that they have taken on Master Science for a pilot period, we can’t wait to see what they achieve next! 22
The family just keeps growing!
It’s half way through the year already! Can you believe that the Master Maths family has grown so much this year?
Koos Rautenbach was a teacher and farmer until he joined Master Maths Nelspruit as a science tutor in 2012. He enjoyed working there so much that he decided to open his own centre in Barberton. He realised that Barberton was in need of good maths tuition and aims to provide a solution to this need.
“The Master Maths programme is such a powerful tool to help learners excel in a world where careers today demand maths education.”
Sorita Groenewald, from the Silverlakes centre, has opened up a new centre in Mooikloof. Silverlakes has been around for more than 6 years and there has always been the idea to utilise their franchise area more effectively. Now, they have a centre on each side of the Bronberg!
“We have created an environment where learners experience an academic atmosphere and where they learn to ask questions and to be able to do maths independently.”
sda r e v i
Susan and Ronnie van Rooyen are the faces of the Riversdale centre. Teaching has always been a general theme in their lives. Whether it’s been teaching at school, or giving after school maths and science tuition, these two can’t seem to get enough of it! They love how professional and well structured the Master Maths system is.
“It’s great giving young South Africans a kickstart which will affect their entire future! Life itself is a challenge, Master Maths teaches them to help themselves.”
eto w o S
Zaheda Moga is the owner of the Soweto centre. She opened her centre after Rokeya Karolia from Roshnee, her sister, bought her centre. Before making the move to Master Maths, she worked as a physiotherapist at Garden City Clinic in Mayfair.
“I want the learners at my centre to enjoy maths, and I want to be part of the process of them reaching their full potential.”
Roger Hartley from Port Shepstone has opened a new centre in Kokstad. He decided that he would like a new challenge, and Kokstad was the answer! He aims to gain excellent results from the learners at both centres. His love for maths and passion for owning his own business are wonderful grounds for these goals!
“It is up to me as a Franchisee to deliver and match the brands excellent reputation” It’s a massive team effort that makes us successful.”
Head Office has opened a few new centres. Morningside has just opened in June! Annamie Odendaal is the manager for the centre. She has a B.Sc Hons in Business Psychology, and was teaching high school maths and raising kids before doing 6 months of training with Robyn at the Sandton centre.
“I really appreciate the organized, personalised way in which I now deal with learners, parents and everyone else!”
Roodepoort is the other Head Office centre that has been opened this year. Ross Muller is managing the centre. Ross has been part of the Master Maths family for 5 years, tutoring at both Bryanston and Fourways. He is enjoying the new challenge of being the centre manager, and feels that he has a lot to offer his learners.
“The learners don’t feel like they are in a class room environment and are more relaxed and open to learning without any pressure.”
burg Elanza Strauss, a qualified physiothera-
pist who practiced in Vredenburg during the week and in Cape Town on the weekends, has opened up the first West Coast centre. She loves working with children, and was very happy when Master Maths gave her the opportunity to open her own centre.
“My personal approach to my centre is to build an individual relationship with each learner, gaining their trust. I believe this will enable me to help them develop their love of maths in order to better prepare them for life’s challenges.”
Connect and communicate with us! Anytime! Anywhere! Like our Facebook pages www.facebook.com/mastermaths www.facebook.com/masterscience
Follow us on Twitter @Master_Maths
Pinterest Head to www.pinterest.com, and in the search bar in the left corner search for us! Remember to select “Pinners” to find our boards! Search: “Master Maths”