Botho abacus to aid results at adopted school

Botho University
Botho University

Friday last week was no ordinary day at Kubung Primary School. Botho University, who adopted the school last year, were there to bring the much anticipated ABACUS.

An abacus is basically beads that slide on rods and used to count, add, subtract, multiply and more. The origin is reportedly unknown but Wikipedia reckons the counting tool was in use in the ancient Near East, Europe, China, and Russia, centuries before the adoption of the written Hindu–Arabic numeral system.

Welcoming their foster parents, grateful School Head said; “It’s a great day. Botho has brought us results with their initiative to improve results. This is also in line with the ideals of Vision 2036 of achieving prosperity for all.

The university is no stranger to this community. As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, Botho University (BU) adopted Kubung Primary School back in October 2017, in an effort to help improve the school’s academic results..

The BU Office of External Relations formed a partnership with the Ministry of Basic Education to assist the school, as guided by the Ministry’s ‘Adopt a School’ initiative. During a prize giving ceremony last year, the university decided to support the Standard 5 to 7 with remedial lessons to help boost academic results.

Giving an overview of the initiative, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor Golekanye Setume said they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the ministry to support the school to reach the 80% target. The idea, he said, is to offer monthly tutorial support sessions. A BU support team is supposed to travel to the school at least twice a month.

Further to that, Standard 7 pupils travel to the university’s campus for lessons and to be inspired by its environment.

“They were very happy, interested and expressed desire to graduate and one day set foot in a tertiary institution,” Setume stated. Botho University also support the school every prize giving and print examination papers and certificates. Setume further revealed that they going to build a library for the school and stock it with books once they get the school drawings.

One of the main activities will reportedly include re-aligning the revision content into an outcome-based syllabus for ease of students’ engagement and provision of computers and internet to enhance learning.

The school’s performance has also improved even though the results were fluctuating. Last year the standard seven results surged from the previous 48% to staggering 70% for the first term and increased the momentum resulting in 75.7% for the second term. But somehow end of the last term of 2018 the results dropped and barely reached 70%.

Beginning of the year the results shot back to 75.7% but later dropped back to 69.9% by second term. Setume admits the challenge is Botho campus visits which he said were supposed to boost interaction but were not as frequent as desired. He recommended follow up lessons in between exams and assured the villagers and other visitors that school would be the pride of Kubung by 2020.

Abacus is not just for improving math prowess according Pro Vice Chancellor R Srinivasan who explained the importance of the tool. The brain’s retention power and performance on other subjects improves too. Srinivasan said the students, who all got an abacus, should be allowed to keep them so they could share with their siblings at home. “We want the school to lead and others to follow. We’ve trained teachers and we will monitor regularly,” she said.

After receiving the gifts fro the university’s Assistant Dean, Shubashree Ravi Srinivasan, Chief Education Officer for Kweneng, Cecilia Sunday said it was important to have strong foundation as evidenced by BU. “Botho demonstrated that when the foundation is strong you can’t go wrong Kubung will be a force to reckon with because of this strong foundation,” she said and pleaded with the head teacher not to shut abacus in the office.

The CEO promised to support the school to avoid bringing shame to the kind gesture and called on the teachers to continue doing the important work.

Kubung Primary School was indeed ready for the abacus if the demonstration class that was part of the event is anything to go by.

The students knew how to form numbers and add or subtract using the beads of the apparatus. Entertainment also revealed the students’ other talents.

A moving story about a young orphaned girl who pursues her singing dream amidst hardships that includes a jealous aunt came to life performed by the school’s drama group while Standard 7 boys displayed their dancing moves.

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