Grade 1-3 teachers receive Mathematics professional development training

Junior Primary Teachers from three schools in Swakopmund attended a Mathematics Professional Development Workshop which was aimed at providing teachers with the knowledge and skills to develop number sense and numeracy skills of grade one (1) to three (3) learners. The closing ceremony and handing over of certificates took place on Thursday, 13 October at the Teachers Resource Centre in Swakopmund.

A total number of 27 junior primary school teachers from Tamariskia Primary, Swakopmund Primary and Westside High School participated in the development workshop. The programme was conducted by Ms. Magret Courtney Clarke, the Programme Co-ordinator over a five months period as a series of 2-day workshops.
During the workshops teachers were introduced to some theoretical background, affordable materials, models, teaching approaches and sequences. The facilitator modelled all teaching approaches and teachers were involved in practical activities with materials and worksheets. According to Clarke, teachers were tasked to apply what they have learnt in the classroom after each workshop. The focus of the programme was on understanding basic mathematical principles involving numbers and operations, on developing strategies to derived facts and solve problems and on developing quick and correct recall of basic facts for example addition, subtraction facts and multiplication tables. “The first years of schooling have a profound impact on the future academic performance and one of the root causes for the small number of learners who are able and willing to take mathematics at more advanced levels in secondary schools, is the poor foundation laid in primary school” said Clarke. According to her the Ministry of Education has launched a wide-ranging curriculum reform and syllabus review. Implementation have started at the Junior Primary Phase in 2015. She said the emphasis in mathematics is on improving basic numeracy of junior primary learners and the new approaches to teaching mathematics at junior primary level in Namibia are based on the programmes developed in the Netherlands.
Tamariskia Primary School, Swakopmund Primary, Westside High, Tutaleni Primary, Erongosig Primary, Omaruru Primary and Ubasen Primary School are amongst the schools that have benefited from the program which was financially supported by Walvis Bay Salt Holdings (WBSH) and received input from the Erongo Regional Education Directorate. The Managing Director of Walvis Bay Salt Refiners Mr Andre Snyman said WBSH have been involved in this programme over the last 10 years and has contributed over a period of six years just over half a million Namibian dollars towards this project. According to him, WBSH belief in development and growth of both employee and the business. “WBSH realises that in order to improve our education system, constant development of teachers need to happen. I am mindful that our state coffers does not always have the funds available for professional development and that is where the private sector should take the hand of the government” he emphasised.
WBSH is fully committed to the social responsibility role and has identified this event as an ideal investment opportunity “through this donation we want to ensure that our teachers are kept abreast with the latest development in their chosen field” Snyman adds.

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