Science boost for Mfuleni pupils

Physical science teacher Clint Jacobs wasted no time in taking his pupils for an esterification experiment.

The South African Medical and Education (SAME) Foundation is equipping schools with better science facilities and also aims to engage schools which do not offer science to their pupils, in a bid to promote science and technology among pupils.

On Thursday March 2, the foundation kick-started the initiative at Manzomthombo High School, in Mfuleni, handing over four science laboratories, a computer lab and a library. In addition to this, the foundation refurbished five classrooms, as well as boys’ and girls’ toilets. The total investment for the project amounted to more than R4.5 million. Working with its partners, the foundation has promised to increase support for needy schools.

SAME chairman Trevor Pols said more schools needed to have science laboratories so that they could produce more scientists and engineers.

He said the project at Manzomthombo was the first of many to be completed in the province.

He said five more schools – in Langa, Khayelitsha, Delft, Strand and Gugulethu – had been identified to be part of the project.

The foundation is a national non-profit organisation that focuses on creating an environment in which quality healthcare and education were available to everyone. This was done by renovating and equipping healthcare and needy education facilities around the country.

“We want to give science where there is no science, where there is a need and where there are people with nothing,” said Mr Pols. “There are schools that are not taking science as a subject because of (a lack of) resources.”

Mr Pols called for better ways to inspire young people to study science and technology. He said the new science centre and computer lab would allow Manzomthombo pupils to reach their full potential in science and technology and open more tertiary and career options for the pupils.

School principal John Matiso and the school governing body(SGB) commended the donors.

“It is high time that we stop complaining about resources. We need to prove our worth. There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves now, but to deliver,” said Mr Matiso.

SGB chairperson Princess Mkokeli said the development meant that the school was on par with affluent schools or formerly Model C schools.

“They have done us proud. The onus is on us now, the parents, teachers and children to come up with good results,” she said. “I can safely say we are sure of a 100 percent pass in science. We are truly grateful for the project.”

The foundation has appealed to corporates to partner with it to change young people’s lives and to provide quality education.