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Numeric traces its roots back to 2011 when there were conversations around whether the emerging online learning platform Khan Academy might be used to distribute high quality instruction to children in low–income areas in South Africa.
This resulted in us supporting the establishment of a Khan Academy pilot programme in Khayelitsha (Cape Town) to assist learners with mathematics. That pilot turned into what is now called Numeric. In 2015 Numeric is running afterschool maths programmes in partnership with 28 schools in the Western Cape and Gauteng provinces of South Africa with over one thousand students attending these programmes each week.
Numeric is unusual in its approach for two reasons. Firstly, it uses a powerful (and free) online learning platform called Khan Academy to provide its kids with world–class instruction in the form of videos and a gamified exercise platform to help them master concepts. Secondly, Numeric is not volunteer–based but recruits coaches from teacher training institutions and pays them for their time so as to ensure quality and accountability.
One of the major peripheral benefits of the model is that the pre–service teachers who coach for Numeric undergo significant improvement during the course of their year–long contracts. 87% of coaches state that their content knowledge has improved significantly since joining Numeric, 94% state that their classroom management has improved materially, and 100% state that their confidence as a maths teacher has increased substantially.
Since running its first programme in 2011, over 1,500 learners have been through Numeric’s year–long maths programmes and over 70 pre–service teachers have been trained and placed in these programmes as coaches. Numeric are using educational experts to evaluate the programme to help understand the impact of the model and to apply learning from this to their future work.