Educational publishing house Via Afrika has launched the first Via Afrika Tabtor Maths Centre in Africa. The centre was officially opened by Debbie Schäfer, Western Cape Minister of Education at the Cobble Walk shopping centre in Durbanville, Cape Town.
The opening saw a number of high-level execs attend including: Executive Deputy Mayor City of Cape Town Alderman Ian Neilson; Deputy Director-General Curriculum and Assessment Management of the Western Cape Brian Schreuder; Chief Director: Media Liaison and National & Provincial Communication Department of Basic Education Mr Elijah Mhlanga; And Acting Director: Communication and Research Department of Basic Education, Directorate: Social Inclusion and Mass Mobilisation in Education Department of Basic Education Mr Louis Taylor.
“We’ve identified Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a game changer,” said Minister Schäfer, “and we’re focusing a lot on it over the next few years. We’ve honed in on maths particularly, and this (Via Afrika Tabtor Centre) brings together those two aspects very nicely. When children are able to learn maths on a tablet, it’s a lot more fun, and has the benefits of the diagnostic aspect to it.”
Minister Schäfer added that: “This has a lot of possibilities for improving our maths which is desperately needed in our economy. There are so many jobs that nowadays that we need in our country where maths is a prerequisite, and we are desperately needing to improve our maths results. I always say ‘education should be fun’, and I think this is a fun way of learning maths and providing the teacher with a really valuable tool to identify where the gaps are.”
Tabtor Maths was originally developed in India and the USA in order to transform mathematics learning through the use of tablets. Via Afrika partnered with Tabtor to bring the app to South Africa, with an aim to drive e-learning solutions in the country’s Basic Education sector.
Raj Valli, CEO and Founder of Tabtor Maths, made the trip from the US to attend the historic launch of the centre and is ecstatic with the project and said: “I tell people that we’re not in the maths education business. We’re in the growing GDP business. And we believe that growing a GDP starts with modern, quality education.
“The Via Afrika Tabtor Centre is an important step towards that goal. When you develop a project that is truly innovative, and that leap frogs the current status quo, it’s important to offer individuals the opportunity to touch and feel the product. This centre – and many more to come, hopefully – will provide that opportunity.”
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness report 2015/16 places South Africa 138 out of 140 countries. Via Afrika Acting CEO Micheal Goodman believes that e-learning solutions like Tabtor Maths, used effectively, will make a positive difference to that situation.
“Our broader goal is education, and I agree with Raj that education is also about growing GDP.” said Goodman. “In terms of taking it further, we want to explore a franchise model with it because we as Via Afrika can only do so much on our own, and it’s a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to take it further. I would like to see it in more than just nice shopping malls, but in all areas of our country, and an entrepreneurial franchisee can actually do that very effectively.”
Editor: Darryl Linington
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