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Teaching assistant required in South Africa – starting January 2011

SA school roomAre you a maths graduate interested in voluntary work in Africa?

In South Africa there are great social and educational inequalities. The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Schools Enrichment Centre (AIMS SEC) aims to bring new skills to the teaching of mathematics in disadvantaged rural and township communities to help to improve the life chances of young people.

AIMS SEC works for equity in education as an outreach programme from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, a research institute that also offers a unique interdisciplinary course for postgraduate students from many different African countries. AIMS SEC has an academic manager and an admin officer and much of the teaching is done by visiting lecturers from round the world on an unpaid voluntary basis. In partnership with Stellenbosch and Fort Hare Universities, AIMS SEC runs two year blended learning courses to train subject leaders and, since 2004, has run 14 three month professional development courses for 682 mathematics teachers. The AIMS SEC network extends across South Africa enabling teachers to support each other and offering a forum for the sharing of ideas and resources to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Fares and a monthly stipend of R4 500 (£390) are paid for with food and accommodation at AIMS sharing a house with other AIMS teaching assistants and researchers (see picture on right above).

Duties: Assisting the AIMS SEC academic manager in the preparation of distance learning teaching materials for courses for teachers and marking of assignments. Helping to improve and maintain the website and online course management system. Answering mathematical queries from teachers and learners online, preparing newsletters and communicating with teachers. Promoting enquiry based learning through practical activities, problem solving, group work and investigations. Teaching Saturday classes at AIMS for learners from local schools and running occasional activities in schools. Assisting with the administration and teaching of residential courses for teachers.

Requirements: A degree in mathematics or computer science and good IT skills. A keen interest in mathematics and in teaching with a desire to go on learning. Enthusiasm to work in a culturally diverse organisation. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. A postgraduate certificate in education or some experience of working with teenagers or primary school children is desirable but not essential.

Enquiries and applications. Send a CV naming two referees and a covering letter to Toni Beardon (  Toni will welcome informal enquiries by email or phone:+44(0)1223 560582.