NESTLÉ NESPRAY South African Mathematics Challenge
An interview with Pumla Mkhize, Category Brand Manager for Dairy at Nestlé South Africa.
Question: South Africa was ranked as one of the lowest performing countries when it comes to Mathematics, in your view, what role can the private sector play in addressing issues such as the poor state of Mathematics in the country?
Answer: You know I am such a believer in the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” because that applies in all facets of life. We can achieve so much as a country if we all worked together to improve the lives of ordinary South Africans. The private sector has a huge role to play in addressing issues as the state of Mathematics. Big corporate companies such as Nestlé have a responsibility to give back to the community, which is why we get involved in upliftment programmes such as the South African Mathematics Challenge. We are so proud to have partnered with the South African Mathematics Foundation in programmes that seek to make Mathematics a fun and enjoyable subject as early as the primary phase.
Question: Why is the brand NESTLÉ NESPRAY investing in the development of school-going children?
Answer: You know our target market as NESTLÉ NESPRAY is children between 5 – 14 years old. The words of Former President Nelson Mandela could not ring true, “education is the great engine of personal development; essential in eliminating poverty, reducing inequality and the foundation for building an equal society”. We believe it is important to invest in the development of school-going children because they are the future of this country. With programmes such as the Mathematics Challenge, we want to highlight the importance of nutrition and how that contributes to learners performing at their optimal best when they get the necessary nutrients their bodies need. We want to empower learners to become independent, creative and critical thinkers who will be able to interpret and critically analyse everyday situations that will allow them to solve problems. The Challenge promotes teamwork, enthusiasm and helps to develop future leaders and influencers in science, engineering, marketing sciences across all walks of life.
Questions: The Mathematics Challenge is for learners in grades 4 – 7 however you have introduced the NESTLÉ NESPRAY WhatsApp Quiz Moment targeted at learners between grades 1 – 3, why did you decide to include the foundation phase?
Answer: The syllabus for learners in primary school is often always loaded with concepts and formulas, so we need to ensure that our children are well equipped with problem-solving skills that will help them in and out of the classroom. This means we need to shift the focus to the foundation phase if we want to great results in grade 12. We often focus our attention on grade 12 results but nobody is concerned about kids’ ability to grasp concepts and formulas in the foundation phase. With the WhatsApp Quiz Moment we want to encourage parents/guardians to spend quality with their bundles of joy while solving mathematical questions. By so doing, we get to reinforce a culture of learning because we are of the view that learning can take place anywhere, it does not have to be confined in the classroom.
Question: How do parents/guardians get involved in the NESTLÉ NESPRAY WhatsApp Quiz Moment?
Answer: It’s simple and quick, you just text ‘Hi’ to 061 483 3559 and follow the prompts. It’s really as easy as that. Once a person is registered they will get questions which they will have to answer within 24 hours. To ensure that parent/guardian and child are motivated, we have an interactive 24hr chatbot to answer all queries in real time. We believe this will boost confidence when answering the questions and ensure the process is less stressful for all participants. So if you get stuck, do not despair, the chatbot will answer your queries anytime of the day.
Question: We are fast approaching the festive season and nobody wants to be learning Mathematics in December. What’s your advice to parents/guardians out there?
Answer: You are absolutely correct, nobody wants to be solving Maths problems during the festive but as NESTLÉ NESPRAY we want to emphasise that learning can take place anywhere. You can still instil a culture of learning through fun and exciting exercises in the house, so whether you are preparing a meal, driving to the mall or just playing outside, learning does not have to stop. We understand that December is a busy time of the year which is why the NESTLÉ NESPRAY WhatsApp Quiz moment will be put on hold as of 12 December, but we are excited to announce that we will resume on 09 January 2021 so please be on the lookout for when we come back.