An initiative of the South African Medical and Education (SAME) Foundation has given the pupils of Manyano High School in Khayelitsha the opportunity to learn maths and science in state-of-the-art classrooms.
The facilities, including computer and science labs, were officially handed over to the school on Tuesday December 4, at an event attended by senior officials from the provincial and national education sector, including the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Mohamed Enver Surty.
Mr Surty said maths and science enabled pupils to be critical thinkers and that it was essential to provide pupils with the resources needed for them to reach their full potential.
He said one of government’s key aims was to continuously improve the state of education in public schools and that the growth in the digital and online sphere meant that government must ensure that schools have all the resources needed to keep up with this growth.
Mr Surty applauded all the stakeholders who dug deep in their pockets to ensure that public schools were being equipped with such resources.
“The pupils of this school should now spend more time at these labs. We are constantly seeking new ways to improve education.
“We want to produce engineers and mathematicians,” he said.
School principal, Nokuzola Malgas, said it was fantastic to have these donated classes and labs which would enable her pupils to conduct their experiments.
However, said Ms Malgas, the number of pupils opting to do maths and science was dwindling – which was a major concern.
She said the pupils lost interest when they did not have the resources to conduct experiments, and this affected their results. Sometimes, she said, pupils had to be transported to other schools to conduct their science experiments, which put a strain on their already stretched budgets.
She said she hoped the new labs would help turn things around.
“We are delighted about the donation.
“We are now going to strive for a 100% pass rate.
“The days of having to battle to do science experiments are the things of the past.
“Through this lab we want to revive the love and interest of both maths and science,” she said.
The SAME Foundation’s CEO, Trevor Pols, said their role was to assist schools with resources and to create environments conducive to teaching and learning.
He said their mission was to provide resources and ensure that pupils were afforded an opportunity to access them.
He said this year alone they had spent R14 million to provide 10 schools with computer and science labs and maths classrooms.
He said they had already identified an additional 10 schools they would like to assist next year.
Zola Phahlana, the principal of ID Mkhize High School, said his school had previously been a beneficiary of the initiative and that having labs had improved pupils’ understanding of science and ignited their love and passion for the subject.