Mpilo Khumalo was was born in Soweto to a Zimbabwean dad and a South African mom. He grew up with his grandmother in Zimbabwe where he attended primary, secondary and tertiary education. Due to his passion to work with children, he studied to be a teacher specializing in Accounting and Mathematics. In 2010, he joined the Eastern Cape Department of Education as a first time teacher.
He was working at a farm school and in a province which had a critical shortage of Mathematics teachers. In a bid to improve the performance of learners in Mathematics, the Eastern Cape Department of Education entered into an agreement with AIMSSEC. This was also aimed to develop the competency of educators in both the understanding and teaching of Mathematics. In 2013, he was enrolled as one of the beneficiaries of this development.
“The MT residential course was both a wake-up call and an eye-opening initiative for me. I experienced what I call a “Maths-Culture” shock. The course exposed not only my incompetences in the teaching of Mathematics but shallow understanding of Mathematical Concepts.”
He was motivated due to the nature of the teaching approaches that were used by the AIMSSEC team. He completed the 6 months training course which gave him the opportunity to do the ACE course. ‘This was the course that changed my life. For the first time in my life, I discovered that mathematical concepts can be taught as objects amongst other things. I reflected upon my teaching approaches and realized that I had not been doing justice to the learners, neither had my school teachers to me. Apart from using teacher centered approaches and forcing learning to stick to formulae, I was indirectly excluding learners from learning and enjoying Mathematics.”
“The ACE course had a big impact in my personal confidence, not just in the teaching and learning of Mathematics. For example, due to the TLE module, today I am in a position to give logical reports which are easy to understand within my work environment.”
In December 2016, he applied to join the South African Education and Environment Project (SAEP) as a Coordinator of the Hope Scholars Programme. The programme is aimed at improving the numeracy and literacy competence of learners. He applied for the job, he elaborated on how mathematical concepts should be taught or learnt applying the knowledge he acquired from AIMSSEC. “I was automatically selected as the stand out candidate, thanks to AIMSSEC!!!!! My role includes the mentoring of university students who assist in our programme. I continue to teach learners every day till this day and I intend to so in the future.”
“I am looking forward to further engagement with AIMSSEC so that I can develop my understanding of Mathematics to another level. Learning with AIMSSEC stimulates. You are always looking forward to learning something new, interesting and rewarding!!! I have always told people that if AIMSSEC was given the opportunity to teach Mathematics in our schools, every learner would study and pass Mathematics. I am currently pursuing a BCom Financial Management course at UNISA, thanks to AIMSSEC.”
“Those who study at university should start afresh at AIMSSEC.”