ANY COUNTRY that treats decent jobs as rare prizes is going nowhere fast.

And one way of turning this scary trend around is to boost the number of people with good maths skills.

There are a few places focusing on improving our poor maths numbers, one of which is the Dinaledi Schools Project.

Dinaledi is an initiative to provide maths and science support to a few selected high schools.

Their support is divided among four areas: students, teachers, developing the learning environment and teacher education and development.

The South African Mathematics Foundation – a non-profit company established in 2004 by the Association for Mathematics Education of South Africa – works to improve maths education.

With various partners, the maths foundation runs programmes such as the South African Mathematics Olympiad, to find and develop talented pupils.

Other programmes include South African Mathematics Challenge and the Siyanqoba Regional Olympiad Training programme.

Professor Kerstin Jordaan, the foundation’s chairwoman, said they aim to unify academia, government and private business so that they can:

- Improve problem solving and analytical thinking at schools by providing teachers with quality maths training.

- Use public awareness campaigns and competitions in association with the department of science and technology, to explore and reduce youth hostility to maths by showing them that maths is fun.

- Expand the professional development and accreditation of mathematics teachers and subject leaders, with the department of higher education and training.