Teaching maths to school children in Africa isn’t how you expect most students to spend their holidays, but that’s exactly what Emma Towlson, a Maths and Physics student at the University of Warwick, did as part of a University educational programme called ‘Warwick in Africa’.
For two summers in a row, Emma, who hails from Faversham in Kent, has devoted her student holidays to teaching maths and physics to school children in Alexandra Township, near Johannesburg, South Africa.
In a turbulent, sometimes violent, school environment where many children have to drop out of school to earn money to support their siblings, Emma with a group of 12 Warwick student teachers took on the challenge to help children with their maths education.
“Six weeks isn’t long enough, but even in that short space of time, the amount of progress we saw in the children was fantastic. In many schools African teachers are subject to enormous pressures; huge workloads and class sizes, lack of resources and opportunities for developing their teaching skills. We were able to offer fresh ideas and an abundance of enthusiasm, it was incredible to see their appetite to learn, they were brilliant.”
Following her last trip, Emma was determined to play her part in raising funds for the University’s ‘Warwick in Africa’ programme. On 9 July, Emma has organised for a 70-strong team of Warwick students to undertake the 3 Peaks Challenge. All monies raised will be donated directly to the Warwick in Africa programme to enable more children to gain from teaching skills of the University’s highly regarded maths students.
Emma is set to start a PhD in Physics at Cambridge University in October, but has managed to make sure she fits in another summer of teaching in a new pilot for Warwick in Kayamandi Township, Stellenbosch near Cape Town, only made possible through generous donations.
More information about Warwick in Africa, including a film introduced by Lenny Henry, can be found at:
Anyone wishing to support Emma and the Warwick in Africa team, please go to www.justgiving.com/teams/wiathreepeaks/
Notes to Editors:
For further information or to arrange an interview contact Emma Towlson on 07910231444 or contact Kate Cox, Communications Manager on +44 (0)2476 574255/150483, m:+44(0)7920 531221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attached photo shows Emma with students from Alex High School in Alexandra, South Africa.