UCT team offers free online maths lessons
Medical student Ilyaas Amien started his free, online maths tuition service, Tutonic, in 2017. It has now become a vital resource for many high school learners during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tutonic was started with the aim of supporting high school students around the country and bridging the gap between access and quality education.
It began with 50 students and now has 500 and 15 student tutors, most of whom are volunteers from UCT. The organisation is endorsed by the Western Cape Education Department.
“I wanted a platform to address the chronic lack of maths support for high school students,” said Amien.
The resources include concept videos that cover all the maths content from grades 8 to 12, quizzes and previous questions received from other pupils over the years, personalised support from a university student (pupils can submit questions they’re struggling with), and weekly live sessions with a tutor for matrics.
“Tutonic has created over 1000 maths videos (concept videos and tutor responses), now curated in the Tutonic Bank,” said Amien. “We also encourage teachers to use these as a teaching tool, to ‘flip the classroom’. Our aim is to make the teaching experience less didactic and more engaging.
“In many cases, our tutors refer the student to a previous video that explains the concept or question they’re struggling with.
"This eases the burden on our volunteers and allows us to support many more students compared to conventional tuition systems.”
Amien is appealing to university students who enjoy teaching maths (and have the means) to consider joining their platform as tutors.
“From your own home, you will be able to support hundreds of students across South Africa with mathematics.”
Amien recently returned to the MBChB programme after completing an honours degree in neuroscience.
He hopes to tackle a concurrent master’s programme in neuroscience in 2021.
“My goal is to one day become a clinician scientist who connects the brain to the bedside,” he said.