Being Frank With Sir Macfarlane: Maths Crusader
Blog by MacFarlane Moleli
A while ago I wrote about my personal crusade regarding the issue of maths and science in this country. I also introduced you to a gentleman by the name of Thabo Koela, whose children have opened up a maths Centre called The K-Maths institute. The place is aptly named, as the K stands for Koela, which is their surname. This small amazing institute has produced some of the country’s best maths results, as children from all over the Sedibeng region descend to its classroom to better their maths marks. Ntate Koela who I have grown to love and admire for his passion in teaching mathematics is a phenomenal human being. As a maths teacher with more than 25 years of teaching under his belt he has helped thousands of students in the Sedibeng region to achieve their dreams.
What I have found really astonishing is his eagerness to learn and master his craft at teaching this subject. Due to his passion and love for mathematics Ntate Koela didn’t only leave it at what he knew or studied. This genius of a man has a BSc in Mathematical Sciences and has also studied Educational Kinesiology. With all this experience he also travelled to Asia, to understand Japanese philosophies and methodologies in Mathematics. Ntate Koela became one of the area managers for Kumon Maths in the Sedibeng Region. Let me give you some insight into what Kumon Maths is: “The Kumon Method is an individualised learning method. The starting point for each Kumon student is determined individually. Students start with the level where they can attain a perfect score by studying on their own.
The worksheets have been designed in a way that allows students to figure out how to solve problems on their own. If students continue to study at their own pace, they will catch up with their school grade level and eventually advance far beyond it.” – kumonglobal.com
This explanation gives us an indication as to how the methodology actually works. It is all about the student’s ability to beat themselves at resolving and understanding mathematical concepts. As one of the area managers for Kumon Maths, Ntate Koela had an opportunity to frequently travel to Japan and study under the great auspices of one of the directors at the institute, Professor Anuka. During all this time of learning and perfecting his craft and knowledge in subject mastery, his mind was focused on how he could come back to South Africa and share his skills with the African Child.
He does not recall the number of children he has taught and helped to master maths, but the number stands between eight to ten thousand students. Over and above these students, he has between seven hundred to a thousand students which have gone through his institute. The K-Maths Institute has been around for more than ten years but was formally registered as a business only six years ago. This revolutionary place has produced some of the country’s finest academics that have gone into many of the country’s best universities.
The Sedibeng region has for the past four years been producing some of the best results in Maths and Science. I know that the institute cannot take all the credit for this, however, students from Vaal high, General Smuts, Suiderlig, Riverside, and Suncrest have gone through this program. If you look at the results for the Gauteng province you will see that Sedibeng for the past four years has been performing incredibly well. In 2014 a boy with the surname Dlamini was the 2nd best learner in mathematics and he is now studying Mechanical Engineering at Wits University. He is not the only one, Mr Koela has produced Doctors, Chartered Accountants, Financial Mathematicians, Actuaries, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers. Some students that have gone to Cuba for Medicine, have walked through the corridors of his institute.
With all this being said, it is sad to know that we do not celebrate a man of his calibre, that the department has not taken this institute and elevated it to the status that it deserves. Very often in this country we love to celebrate the dead, yet we fail to honour them while they are still alive. This man, Ntate Koela and his K-Maths institute have the ability to become South Africa’s own MIT( Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Our country can harvest our innovators, thinkers, and thought leaders from this wonderful place. He deserves it and he has certainly earned it, there is no better time than now to elevate this man to the status, which he belongs.
I say this with the utmost conviction for a couple of reasons, I have seen this man’s work, I have seen the passion with which he teaches, and I am sure his students can also attest to this. He has taken all that he has learnt in Asia through Kumon Maths as well as his studies in Educational Kinesiology, and has produced what he calls the K-Maths methodology. This methodology follows a simple philosophy of “Teaching with the end in mind”. You will be blown away with the results achieved by this simple philosophy, which is at the core of the K-Maths Methodology.
This methodology and philosophy is enshrined in the principles of the K-Maths way and has thus produced some of the best results that this country has ever seen in Maths and Science.
Read my next blog on the Maths Crusade as I unravel this beautiful phenomenon where Educational Kinesiology meets Kumon maths to produce:
THE K-MATHS WAY!
TEACHING WITH THE END IN MIND!
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Kaya FM.