Samuel Leenderts, Teacher, Masibambane Secondary School, Western Cape
HundrED shortlisted this innovation
Why did you create this innovation?
Siyavula addresses the poor mathematics performance of secondary school students across Africa. Poor performance of African countries in international STEM benchmark tests are well documented. OECD analysis has shown that improvements in mathematics strongly correlate with economic growth. For African youth to thrive in the world of work they require access to effective and scalable interventions.
How does your innovation work in practice?
Siyavula’s approach enables mastery-based learning through adaptive, formative assessment delivered over existing mobile infrastructure. In addition to having access to pedagogically-sound content and instruction in class, practice is essential to learning, particularly in Mathematics.
For facilitating effective learning research, theory and experience have shown that practising for mastery needs to be goal directed, coupled with feedback; set at an appropriate level of difficulty; sequenced appropriately and of a sufficient quantity.
Siyavula designed world-class software for secondary school Maths to optimise a learner’s practice session by utilising a bank of generative question items, employing a machine learning algorithm for sequencing questions, and incorporating the latest research into cognitive science and motivation - all via high- and low-end internet-enabled mobile phones. Partnerships with Pan-African mobile networks allow students access without needing mobile data.
How has it been spreading?
Siyavula provides more than 2 million African secondary school students access to the adaptive learning software and open online textbooks to develop their Mathematics and Science skills, and improve their school performance.
Siyavula presents a curriculum-independent structure for self-study, with localised curricula for South Africa, Nigeria and Rwanda. We have also undertaken investigations into curriculum mapping in Uganda and Ghana as part of our expansion.
Students are incentivised to take ownership of their own learning, develop a portfolio of their STEM skills, and acquire digital learning skills while in secondary school. The platform enables students to generate a mastery certificate and connect their portfolio to bursary, internship, learning and employment opportunities.
If I want to try it, what should I do?
Access the platform via www.siyavula.com. Register for free as either learner or teacher. For full teacher functionality contact email@example.com for verification. Curriculum alignment to any English-speaking country in Africa can be initiated via partnership with the Siyavula Foundation. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.