Vuyo Nzimande finds indigenous solution to improve Maths

A young scientist in the rural area in Qwaqwa, Free State believes that an indigenous game known as ‘Morabaraba’ can assist his fellow learners in mastering the topic of angles in Mathematics.

Vuyo Nzimande from Mangaung Intermediate School administered a quantitative data collection method of checklists to players of Morabaraba in a senior phase school, while a test was used to compare the understanding of learners’ comprehension of angles.

The importance of this game, as explained by Nzimande, is that it possesses some cultural aspects which can be incorporated in the teaching and learning of mathematics. According to research that he conducted, Nzimande discovered that the game of Morabaraba can be used to attempt the understanding and learning of angles. The objective of this game, according to Nzimande, is to enhance the understanding and learning of angles in mathematics.

Nzimande said that the findings of the research indicated that the learners’ involvement in the Morabaraba game has improved not only their understanding of angles in mathematics but has also developed their love for geometry as a whole.

“The greatest number of players of Morabaraba indicated that they were more knowledgeable about angle names after playing the game of Morabaraba. Also, learners who played Morabaraba scored the highest in the test,” said Nzimande, who won a gold medal at the 39th Eskom Expo International Science Fair.

The science fair, held at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Boksburg , brought together the brightest young scientists from across South Africa and various countries around the world to compete for cash prizes, bursaries, laptops and international science tours.

Nzimande also won R3000 sponsored by African Bank for third position in the mathematics category; a tablet sponsored by Siemens; R1500 for his project which scored the highest in the junior category of mathematics; R750 for being a gold medallist and a trophy for his school.

Nzimande’s school, which is a previously disadvantaged school, will receive upgrades to its science laboratory to the value of R225 000, sponsored by Siemens.

Eskom Expo regional science fair director in Bethlehem, Maria Mokoena said that the upgrades to the school are welcomed as the school has a lack of resources.

“I am the person who mentored Vuyo and had to make a number of provisions for him to participate in the International Science Fair. Some communities are really living below the poverty line, which is why we would like to thank the Eskom Expo for affording young scientists from such backgrounds the opportunity to develop and showcase their innovative projects at the Science Fair despite these conditions. It is truly indicative that the Eskom Expo supports learner growth in every aspect where education is concerned, thereby shaping Vuyo’s and many others’ future into an even brighter one,” added Mokoena.

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