School Principal, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Mr Mpumelelo Kolisile, is a teacher by profession. He was born in East London in the Eastern Cape Province, in Duncan village. His journey with AIMSSEC began in 2008 after he accidentally stumbled upon information circulated by the founder of AIMSSEC, Toni Beardon. It was an invitation to all mathematics teachers in the province to attend a Mathematical Thinking short course for enrichment in mathematics teaching. He was interested to know more about AIMSSEC and what it does, he therefore shared the information with fellow teachers at his school, and he also completed the application forms for enrolment onto the MT course. Little did he know that this was the beginning of a long and fruitful journey in teacher professional development.
“The skills I have gained will continue to make a difference in mathematics education within and outside my school and community. Since my involvement with AIMSSEC, our mathematics pass results have increased by 25%.”
Having successfully completed the MT course, AIMSSEC invited him again in 2010 to enrol for the Advanced Certificate in Education, a two – year long, level 6 national qualification for teachers. At the time, AIMSSEC was delivering the ACE course in collaboration with Stellenbosch University. During the registration process, administration officials informed him that he did not have sufficient entry requirements for the course because he had obtained a very low symbol in mathematics at matric. Based on his experience in the teaching field as well as other short courses he had attended, he asked the University officials to give him a chance to prove himself during the first semester of the course. With the help of Ingrid Mostert, one of the facilitators on the ACE course, he was given a chance to register and in 2012, he passed the ACE course with flying colours. He shared the skills he learnt during the course with other mathematics teachers at his school and he also found the skills useful in his role as the Head of the Mathematics Department at the school.
In 2013, AIMSSEC approached him to be a facilitator at the East London Telematic Centre, where other teachers enrolled for the ACE course in the province, gather once a semester to receive broadcast sessions from the lecturers. “This opportunity helped me to sharpen my organisation and presentation skills. As I monitored other teachers during the broadcasts, I also gained vast amounts of teaching experience as I followed presentations by AIMSSEC lecturers like Barrie Barnard, Cynthia Fries, Toni Beardon, Elizabeth Turok and many others. I soon became one of the cluster leaders in my district, sharing the knowledge and skills I had learnt with fellow mathematics teachers in the district. In 2014 I had an opportunity to represent my district at a Mathematics Teachers’ Conference held in Port Elizabeth.”
“My relationship with the AIMSSEC family continues to grow. In 2013 and 2014, I attended the AIMSSEC Mathematical Thinking courses as a teaching assistant. In October 2014 I was appointed as the Principal of my school (26 teachers and 1195 learners) and I still teach two grade 7 classes. In July 2015 I attended the MT course as a lecturer in Probability and Statistics for the intermediate phase. Three teachers in my school’s mathematics department have attended the MT course and I would like to see them develop their teaching skills further. I believe that investing in a human being is a lifetime investment; therefore I would like to thank AIMSSEC for believing and investing in me. The skills I have gained will continue to make a difference in mathematics education within and outside my school and community. Since my involvement with AIMSSEC, our mathematics pass results have increased by 25%.”