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Google, Siyavula challenge learners to a million maths problems

 Google, Siyavula challenge learners to a million maths problems

Google.org and Cape Town-based education technology company Siyavula will give South African school children free access to an online training platform to practise maths skills in preparation for exams at the end of this year.

From today until 15 December, any learner in grade eight to 12 will be able to sign into the Siyavula platform, which normally costs R599 a year, and complete maths problems. The companies hope to have one million maths problems completed within the time period.

Grade 12 learners preparing for exams will be able to practise self-marking exam questions for mathematics papers one and two.

Google.org is the philanthropic arm of the search engine giant, which aims to donate some of its profits to solving some of the world's biggest social challenges. In South Africa, one of those challenges is education.

Earlier this year, Google.org pledged $20 million (R260 million) in grants over the next five years to non-profits working to improve lives across Africa, including $1.5 million (R20 million) specifically for Siyavula.

The #1MillionMaths challenge will allow learners to access the education platform until the end of the year, and 150 000 South African and 150 000 Nigerian learners will be given Google.org-sponsored scholarships to the platform for the whole of 2018.

These learners will be picked from zero-fee schools that participate in the challenge.

"Siyavula is launching the #1MillionMaths Challenge to show the reach and scale that technology enables, as well as the incredible impact that practise can have when learning maths," says Mark Horner, CEO of Siyavula.

"We've designed our software to adapt to each learner's level so they practise smarter, not just harder."

Nick Cain, Google.org's portfolio manager for education, says: "Both Google and Siyavula harness technology to make information and education more accessible. We want to demonstrate how powerful this can be by providing learners with access to this tool during their preparation for exams."

Participants will also have the opportunity to win various prizes and rewards from Siyavula, such as data, mobile phones and Google Play vouchers, during October.

To join the challenge, learners can visit the Siyavula Web site here, register for a trial account and redeem the following access code: siyavula-one-million-maths. The code will grant premium access until 15 December.

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