Pupil on a mission to promote STEM at schools

Khomotso Mamashela, is working fiercely to establish Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) at disadvantaged schools as a preferred subject for pupils.

A Claremont High School maths pupil is on a mission to inspire young people to become agents of change.

As one of the 2023 Cape Town Junior City Council members, Khomotso Mamashela, is working fiercely to establish the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) at disadvantaged schools as a preferred subject for pupils.

To achieve her goal, last Monday afternoon she and her organisation, Young Voice collaborated with the Cape Town Science Centre to offer programmes to pupils at four Gugulethu schools.

“We want to give opportunities that our schools do not have. As a maths pupil, I have noticed in some competitions there are few black pupils or none. The only and the most pupils you will find are white pupils. White schools are prompting maths and science and our schools do not. We need engineers, scientists and doctors to come from these schools too,” she said.

At the event, at Fezeka High School’s hall, the sessions focused on maths and science were delivered by the Cape Town Science Centre. The sessions offered the pupils an opportunity to learn and engage with passionate teachers who are determined to make maths and science appealing to them.

The excited Ms Mamashela said she was grateful to the schools for allowing her to fulfil her ambition of advancing access to maths and science and removing myths around these subjects.

She said there was a need to go to other schools too. “Young Voice is a youth-based organisation founded in 2022 and aims to empower and motivate youth from underprivileged communities and schools and keep them out of the streets through assisting them with maths and science after classes and online also introducing them to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We want to amplify many more young voices in the world of STEM and impact more lives for the better,” she said.

Fezeka principal Swallow Khume was delighted that local schools would benefit from the Young Voice and the Cape Town Science Centre. “I am excited to see such a programme here. This is a fruitful exercise for our children. Our children are going to be exposed to maths and science. Fezeka is a maths and science school,” he said.

Mr Khume appealed to pupils to take maths and science from as early as primary schools. He said teachers should introduce pupils to STEM at an early age. “I am happy that Khomotso and Young Voice have thought about township schools. I am here to change Fezeka to make maths and science a priority. Our young people are graduates but unemployable because they have done certain subjects that are not in the market. We want to change and for them to get opportunities in science and other careers.”

Schools that attended were two primary schools, Sokhanya and Xolani, and two high schools, Fezeka and Ntshukumo.

Fezeka High School principal Swallow Khume is happy to see young people following maths and science subjects.
Pupils from four different Gugulethu schools packed the Fezeka hall to listen and learn about science and maths.