Project assisting second-year Maths students
WITS students have started a programme to assist second-year Maths students following poor pass rates in the first quarter and the cancellation of tutorials for the second-years.
The programme is an initiative of the Mathematical Students Council (MSC) and Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach (WCCO).
MSC chairperson Kefentse Mkhari said the project came as a result of the low pass rate for second year students in the first quarter.
“Basic Analysis results were very bad, the pass rate was about 3% that means only 12 students out of the 400 students passed,” said Mkhari.
School of Mathematics head Prof Bruce Watson said the reason for second-year tutorials being cancelled this year was due to the financial constraints following #FeesMustFall protests last year. He said budgets were put on hold and that meant that they had to put a hold on appointing additional staff, including students who run tutorials and do marking.
“Everyone was told to tighten their belts,” said Watson.
“We looked at the parts of the pay-claimed structure where students made least use of the resources provided, one of those being the second-year maths tutorials,” said Watson.
Watson applauded the WCCO and MSC for their project to help students.
The project offers tutorials and extra lessons for students. Mkhari said with the project they hope students will improve their marks and would have a platform to better understand the tutorial questions they are given. Mkhari said they also have a social worker present at the tutorial sessions for student well-being.
Olebogeng Seribe, 2nd year Maths student, said the new project has helped her and she believes that if they had tutorials earlier, they wouldn’t have “suffered” with the course the way they had
Mkhari said they have only one tutor and are appealing to other final-year and post-graduate Maths students to volunteer for the programme.
The tutorial sessions are held at Wits Umthombo building U10 Saturdays at noon.