The Foundation has five core themes, one of which is communication and analytical (C&A) skills development. This is a very broad theme that needs to be defined and focused, something that I’ll be doing over the coming months. As a starter Helen King, the Shuttleworth Foundation’s Principal Advisor, pointed out the following regarding this theme:
- The Foundation seeks to promote the development of C&A skills of school learners. Where possible, technology should be used in skills development.
- The focus for the Foundation is not on the bright learners who will have access to good maths and science educators and go on to become mathematicians, scientists, engineers, etc. It is concerned with the vast majority of learners who are currently being failed by the system because they receive inadequate maths and science teaching. Reasons for this include there not being enough educators in these subject areas and not enough text books for learning.
- While most of these learners won’t pursue careers in maths or science, they nevertheless need C&A skills to be productive members of society.
- The question then is: how can learners effectively be taught C&A skills in schools in ways that can fall outside of the maths and science classroom, and in the context of a developing country in the 21st century?