Change the world

Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Centre



GMMDC Vision:

  • To improve the quality of Mathematics and Physical Science teaching and learning at FET College and Secondary School level;

  • The effective integration of relevant off-line 21st century technologies in the teaching and learning of Mathematics and Physical Science;

  • To create awareness of the importance of Mathematics and Physical Science as gateway subjects for economic growth in SA.

GMMDC Mission:

  • Develop and implement innovative techno-blended models to improve the quality of teaching and learning of Mathematics and Science in secondary schools and at FET Colleges;

  • Provide effective professional skills development for Mathematics and Physical Science educators;

  • Incubate Mathematics and Physical Science learners with potential for access and success at  HE institutions;

  • Provide quality Mathematics and Physical Science resources for learner support at FET Colleges and Secondary schools.

The GMMDU uses a customized offline Techno-Blended Model (TBM) approach to development in order to create modern Constructivist Learning Environments (CLE’s) for CAPS mathematics and science in under-resourced school classrooms and elsewhere. The TBM and modern TouchTutor® resource material serve as a basis for professional development of educators and for the scaffolding of proximal development zones of mathematics and physical science learners at FET level.  Appropriate digital technologies are being utilized in an innovative and integrated way to be responsive to 21st century educational paradigms, local socio-economic circumstances and academic challenges in under-resourced schools and colleges.







"Our South African youth must study maths and science in order for us to be a winning nation."


The late Dr Govan Mbeki voiced this fervent appeal during his 90th birthday speech against the backdrop of a growing crisis in Mathematics and Science Education in our country.

He also recalled how he struggled with mathematical aspects of his studies in economics whilst on Robben Island. To honour his wish a group of academics in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the then UPE (now Nelson Mandela University) decided, in 2001, to respond to the Mathematical needs of communities in the Eastern Cape by consolidating existing Mathematics projects into an expanded Mathematics development programme.

Dr Mbeki gave his full support to such a programme and agreed to have his name associated with it. In December 2001 the group of academics managed to secure a sponsorship from SASOL. This led to the formation of the Govan Mbeki SASOL Mathematics Development Programme (GMSMDP). Since its inception the GMSMDP has grown into a vibrant engagement entity at the Nelson Mandela University that focuses on Mathematics and Science development amongst educators and learners mostly in the Eastern Cape province.

A number of new projects, including a Mathematics Incubator School project for Grades 10-12 learners and Mathematics Skills Upgrade Programme (MATHSUP) for FET educators, were added after 2004 to the list of GMSMDP projects.

In October of 2008 the GMSMDP was re-constituted as a formal Nelson Mandela University entity named Govan Mbeki Mathematics Development Unit (GMMDU).

Since the beginning of 2011, the GMMDU was housed in the School of Computing Science, Mathematics, Statistics and Physics. In 2017 the GMMDU became an NMU Engagement Centre based in the Science Faculty. Currently the Govan Mbeki Development Centre is housed on the Bird Street Campus of the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth. 



Contact information
Prof Werner Olivier
Head of GMMDU
Tel: 27 41 504 2305