Pareto Limited’s ground breaking new R4 million corporate social investment initiative, NuMiracle, launched today (July 1) at its flagship Durban mall, The Pavilion. It is aimed at actively addressing and improving the unacceptably low levels of numeracy in the country.
Pareto is South Africa’s premier shopping centre investor and one of the country’s leading retail property players. The initiative will see promising learners from selected high schools attending daily computer-based maths lessons after school at no charge at innovative NuMiracle labs at Pareto’s shopping centres.
Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto comments, “We are extremely honoured to be part of this potentially life-changing opportunity and are most excited about the prospects and doors that it will open for the beneficiary learners who will be selected as part of this programme.”
The initiative is expected to help change potential into reality for young people, particularly in previously disadvantaged communities within the footprint of Pareto’s shopping centres.
Pareto owns an unmatched portfolio of regional and super-regional shopping centres. It is the full owner of Cresta Shopping Centre, The Pavilion, Mimosa Mall in Bloemfontein, Southgate Mall and Value Market and Westgate Regional Shopping Centre, both in Gauteng. In Cape Town it owns Tyger Valley Shopping Centre. It owns a 50% stake in Cavendish Square, also in the Mother City; and, a 50% stake in Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in the East of Pretoria.
Pareto also holds 25% of Sandton City and its surrounding assets including the Sandton Convention Centre and three hotels: The Sandton Sun, The InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers and Sandton Garden Court.
In 2012, the World Economic Forum ranked South Africa 140 out of 144 for education, and second last out of 62 countries for maths and science education. It was this statistic that prompted Pareto to focus on this very important issue in South Africa says Muller.
The benefits of maths education are widely documented. It is a set of tools and processes for problem-solving. It is also the language of science and technology. Maths is necessary for many tasks in everyday life. Increasingly the careers of the future will demand an education that includes mathematics. Without maths, so many doors slam shut for youngsters.
Pareto’s NuMiracle is set to open more doors for more youngsters in the future. The popular Pavilion Shopping Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, will be home to the first of the NuMiracle maths labs to open in South Africa.
Pareto will also extend this initiative to Southgate Mall and Westgate Mall in Johannesburg, which will both benefit from their own NuMiracle Labs before the end of July 2014.
Muller explains, “NuMiracle aims to engage learners and show them that maths doesn’t have to be difficult, but with practice and understanding of concepts it can actually be quite enjoyable and lead to improved career prospects.”
The NuMiracle initiative will work closely with Master Maths, a well-known and established mathematics tutoring organisation, to provide quality individual tutoring for disadvantaged learners who would otherwise be unable to afford private after-school lessons.
The NuMiracle labs have been designed to nurture a love of maths, from the lab’s spiral design based on the Fibonacci sequence, otherwise known as mathematics’ Golden Ratio, to 10 brand new computers, which will accommodate the personal tuition of around 100 learners.
Learning at the NuMiracle labs is reinforced and evaluated through a combination of a computer-based teaching system and constant tutor supervision and guidance. The learners will work at their own pace and at their own level of ability. The progress of these youngsters will be monitored and there’ll also be certificates and prizes for students who show improvement in their maths skills.
In Durban, learners from Chesterville Extension Technical High School have been selected to participate in the program at The Pavilion.
Muller says, “For Pareto, this is not simply an investment in the community in terms of monetary value, but an investment in the future of our children. This meaningful initiative comprises corporate, private and public interaction that will generate awareness of the importance of numeracy. It is designed to help improve maths ability and, at the same time, develop learning behaviour. We believe it will have an important positive impact on the future of individuals.”