The Manchester-based empowerment and charitable group, MATHS Simplified, is steadily making the subject of mathematics easier for students in the parish while also equipping them with tablet computers.
The group staged the MATHS Simplified Essay Competition for the second consecutive year and awarded four participants with scholarships valued at over $89,000. In addition, they also donated 45 tablet computers to students at 13 primary and high schools in the parish.
“I am passionate about youth development and entrepreneurship, hence the reason I decided to contribute to the development of students of my community and to offer free tutoring to students who are studying online,” states co-founder of MATHS Simplified, Tanesha Shand, during an interview with JIS News.
She says over 100 students submitted essays to the mathematics competition, and “I was absolutely pleased, when you look at the calibre of writing, the way that they were able to express themselves, how thorough they were, they were very outstanding,” Miss Shand shares.
Students Benefit from Laptops Through MATHS Simplified
Regarding the tablets, she says the impact was tremendous as the students were “so happy that they could access the classes.” The parents have also expressed how gracious they are “because, without the tablets, their children would not be able to access online school. The students themselves were really appreciative and grateful, and they constantly text us and say thank you again,” she says.
Miss Shand adds that she was moved to seek support for the tablets, as many children were out of school because they didn’t have access to the online platforms. Some children were out for three to four months due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “My sister Advira [Shand] and I decided to start a GoFundMe campaign.
“Every single day, we had multiple posts, we had different interviews with students, with mothers and so on and parents from the community, showing that these students are there and don’t have the opportunity and we have to do something about it,” she states.
Noting that the beneficiary students are from Manchester High School, Bishop Gibson High, Cross Keys High, Winston Jones High, Grove Town Primary, Marley Hill Primary, “and multiple other schools from South Manchester,” she says teachers played a big role in identifying the neediest students at the institutions.
Hailing from Resource in South Manchester, Miss Shand and her sister Advira saw first-hand the vast needs in the community and the parish, which needed voluntary support, and decided to establish the group. She says it is a “highly enriching academic online channel strategically designed to advance primary and secondary school learners’ understanding of a myriad of mathematical principles and concepts.”
MATHS Simplified offers free virtual ‘one-on-one’ maths tutoring sessions to students aged 7- 17 years. “In the face of widespread, imminent threats to public safety and the preservation of economic stability in underserved communities,” they sought public support to reach students. Sponsors responded positively and have ensured that the mission will continue annually,” she tells JIS News.
Principal of Snowden Primary and Infant School Denise Campbell Brown says the school is grateful for the assistance as it has helped to increase class attendance. “We are very appreciative of the gifts of the tablets to our needy children.
“It has helped those children who received the tablets to be online more than 90 per cent of the time, and if they didn’t have those tablets, I’m sure we would have lost those children,” the principal states.
The principal of the Marley Hill Primary and Infant School, Carlene Hall, is overjoyed for the six students from her school who benefited from the programme, and she is hoping for increased support for her students in the future.
“I’m immensely grateful, as you know how it is for schools that are in deep rural when it comes to support from sponsors. So, when we see a young lady like Ms Shand and her team, who are born and bred from the same belt of Southern Manchester, we are very happy.
“She is very focused on academics and very focused on improving the lives of our young people. For that, we are pleased, and as a school, we will always be connecting with her and building a relationship with her as long as it’s for the benefit of our students,” Miss Hall states.
While vowing to stage the mathematics competition again, Ms Shand says a lot of work is done to ensure that the students are assessed properly. “I do a baseline assessment, look at their weaknesses, and then I tailor my class” according to their needs. “The support that I am providing is working for students that I am working with, and I appreciate the sponsors that we have,” she says.