Eastern Cape student’s simplified study guide a boon for maths pupils

24 January 2021 - 14:18 By Ziyanda Zweni
Awonke Nqayiya has simplified mathematics in his study guide.
Awonke Nqayiya has simplified mathematics in his study guide.
Image: MICHAEL PINYANA

An Eastern Cape man has published a study guide to simplify maths for high school pupils.

Awonke Nqayiya, 25, of Seku village, is a Nelson Mandela University master’s student.

Growing up in Centane, where he attended Seku Primary and Gobe Commercial High, he experienced first-hand the challenges that come with not having study resources like computers and science laboratories.

After matriculating in 2014, Nqayiya tutored grade 11 and 12 pupils in Centane and Port Elizabeth.

I would get to class and teach them and see the way they reacted to my lessons. They could understand mathematics after my lessons. I then decided to try to be in a position where I could teach learners without being face-to-face with them

“I could observe a few things, like the struggles they had in mathematics,” he said. “They lacked the basics.

“I would get to class and teach them and see the way they reacted to my lessons. They could understand mathematics after my lessons.

“I then decided to try to be in a position where I could teach learners without being face-to-face with them.

“That is where the study guide idea came from. It would allow me to teach a learner who is in Johannesburg even though I am not there.”

The 300-page guide covers maths paper 2, material for grade 11 and 12 pupils. It includes statistics, analytical geometry, trigonometry and Euclidean geometry.

“It is quite extensive because it has almost everything. It is hard for a learner to go through that study guide and remain the same,” Nqayiya said.

“We are going to evaluate it at the end of the year. The students who have already ordered it will update me on their progress. It is going to be a sort of a family thing. I am expecting  exceptional results.”

It took him four years to complete the self-published guide.

“I was trying  to perfect the content. The layout introduces the necessary basic concepts and develops into advanced work,” he said.

“The aim is to see learners excelling and becoming what they never thought they would be in mathematics.

Once you excel in mathematics you get to have a brighter future. That is why this study guide is so dear to me

“Mathematics is not just about numbers. Once you excel in mathematics you get to have a brighter future. That is why this study guide is so dear to me.”

Nqayiya’s own love of maths started in grade 4.

“The teacher I had was very inspiring. The way he laid out mathematics problems was quite interesting and I enjoyed it.

“It [maths] is quite challenging but I enjoyed those challenges, searching through problems trying to find the answers.”

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