Wagona Maths is an e-learning platform that supports the teaching and learning of mathematics in Zimbabwe and throughout the world. The e-learning platform was built by a maths teacher called Rex Ndengeya and his team. It will offer content on ZIMSEC, IGCSE core and extended maths for students to learn.
Why an e-learning platform for maths?
Rex Ndengeya is currently a mathematics teacher in the United Kingdom and has been a teacher for quite some time. Throughout his career, he has seen that the teaching of STEM subjects is a bit challenging in Zimbabwe. This has resulted in the national pass rate of these STEM subjects being quite low including mathematics.
At one point in time, Rex worked with his daughter Pamela Ndengeya who is a former student at Manyame Primary School to send books to Manyame Secondary School in order to help students there have access to the latest mathematics text books. However, this proved to be quite expensive so they turned to technology for a solution to their problem. They settled on an e-learning platform as internet penetration in the country is now over 90% so quite a number of people would be able to access the online platform.
Wagona Maths teaches and supports students
Wagona Maths allows students to enroll in a particular syllabus for maths and then learn topics within that syllabus. For example, when a student signs up for ZIMSEC syllabus, they’ll be able to see the different syllabuses for Form 1-4 maths within ZIMSEC. The access will be for all levels of Ordinary level regardless of what stage the student is currently at.
This allows those students who want to move ahead to be able to do so since they have the material easily accessible. From the content, the student will get to practice each topic or a set of 5 topics in a test. They can also receive some assignments from teachers through the platforms. Wagona Maths is not meant to be a substitute for the teacher but to aid what the teacher is doing so the teacher also has a part to play.
It’s also useful for teachers and parents
Wagona Maths isn’t just for students, they also have school accounts. Through a head teacher, schools will be able to get an account which will allow them to create accounts for their teachers and set classes for the teachers depending on the examination boards (ZIMSEC or Cambridge). The head teacher can also create student accounts and assign them to different classes.
The head teacher and other teaches can then see how the student is doing by looking at the special grading system called BRAG (Black Red Amber and Green) that the platform uses. The system will calculate a moving average based on the tests the student has taken and then depending on the score, the average will be coloured either Red, Amber or Green.
The use of the BRAG system makes it easy for teacher to just quickly see how their students are doing from a glance just from the colours the displayed averages are in. It’s not only teachers who can use Wagona for this type of assessment, parents can too by signing in using their child’s student account. They are still working on creating a separate account for the parents so they can easily access all their children’s performance data just like a teacher account without having to login in to multiple accounts.
How to get started using the platform.
The platform comes with two ways for you to access it. You can either download their mobile application which is available on the Google Play Store or you can visit their website. From either of those two, you’ll be able to create an account, sign in and access the same functionalities of the platform. Now when you create an account, you will be given 2 weeks free full access to the content on the platform.
Depending on the type of account you have signed up for (school or student) after the 2 weeks has finished, you will then have to pay a fee either monthly, quarterly or yearly in order to keep full access. However, you will get 5 fixed topics if you’re on a student account for you to revise and practice even after the trial has ended.
Help your child improve by taking out the guess work
One of the biggest issues that is currently being faced by the teachers in secondary schools is that of record keeping. There are so many mark books that a teacher has to write in to record the performance of their students. In the old times, that worked but now it is just not good enough as there is a lot of guess work involved.
The teacher cannot easily tell which students are doing well in which topics or how they have been performing over the years. The platform aims to not just digitize these records but also help in the day to day learning of maths. From day 1, the students records will be recorded and using the BRAG system we mentioned earlier, it just removes all the guess work involved in knowing how your child is doing and you’ll be better informed on how to help them.
The company was found 4 years ago and they have been improving Wagona since then based on the insights they gathered. As we all know, you can’t wait for something to be perfect before many people use it. So they are just about to officially launch and they hope that as time goes on, the platform will evolve to include more subjects taken by many secondary pupils in Zimbabwe. If you’re a parent, this could be something to look at for your children who are in that stage of education.