The hospitality industry hopes to address the of shortage of top chefs through the introduction of a new digital curriculum in Hospitality Studies and by providing the state-of-the-art kitchens at schools, thanks to a partnership between Sun International, GrandWest and the Department of Basic Education.
It is hoped that the curriculum will inspire more teachers to teach hospitality and spark an interest in the subject among pupils.
The curriculum will also highlight the benefits of embracing technology in education.
At the launch of the curriculum at Intsebenziswano High School in Philippi, on Friday April 21, GrandWest general manager Meryvn Naidoo said pupils had the perfect opportunity to cut their teeth in the industry, especially with the country’s tourism boom.
He said he was happy that they were doing something for young people.
“We are creating a shared value. This is about the pupils. They need to take it with both hands and treasure it,” he said.
Mr Naidoo said pupils would be taken to GrandWest to learn more about chefs, and to interact with top chefs.
He said with their partners they were trying to create opportunities in the hospitality industry for young people.
“We want to create a spark that will encourage pupils to learn. We will come back and see how the project’s going here. We will monitor the progress.
“We do not only give money or support and step back. We will take pupils to GrandWest to see how things are done,” he said. “We are happy to be involved here and in other schools.”
Chief director of districts from the Western Cape Education Department, Alan Meyer, said they were happy with the partnership because, he said, such partnerships made a huge difference to the schools and their pupils.
“It provides a spark for pupils. It stimulates their interest.
“In the past we have seen a lot of children wanting to do this programme. This is the impetus the programme brings.
“It is a meaningful initiative that does not only change the child, but family and the entire community,” he said. Mr Meyer called on pupils to receive the project as gift and use it wisely. He said pupils needed to respect it as well.
Consumer studies teacher Thozama Magaga said the apparatus provided to the school would help with lessons and enable pupils to realise their dreams.
Principal Moipone Sam thanked the donors including the Education Department for giving back to the school and the community of Philippi.