Background

 

South Africa is faced with a major challenge in Mathematics regarding the quality of education.
According to a 2014 World Economic Forum (WEF) report, South Africa ranked
last out of the 148 countries measured regarding the quality of maths and science education. Wits
University has a responsibility to encourage Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
education and expose communities to these fields of study. We believe that Mathematics is the
foundation upon which all disciplines rely.


In line with our vision to drive South Africa’s mathematical development, we have put together an
outreach programme with the objective of enhancing the standard of mathematics students, ranging
from senior primary phase, through to FET and into the undergraduate phase. The programme aims to
draw students from all of Gauteng. We believe that the initiative will, in turn, enhance the standard of
research in STEM-related fields at South African academic institutions. The Wits Mathematics
Competition will be running for the first time in 2018.


We have spoken with representatives from high schools, international and national business sectors and
there is a high level of interest in assisting South Africa, through this programme, in developing critical
thinking and problem-solving skills. We envisage that this annual event will develop into the premier
forum for promoting collaborative research across many disciplines in science in South Africa, and will
also promote the sharing of skills between private and disadvantaged/under-resourced schools in
Gauteng.