Science labs make learning easy

2017-02-23 06:00
Rector of the University of the Western Cape, Prof Tyrone Pretorius, shakes hands with Phakama High School Principal Zamayedwa Jaxa with Myrtle February, chairperson of Garden Cities Archway Foundation, looking on at the unveiling of one of five science labs on Tuesday. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Rector of the University of the Western Cape, Prof Tyrone Pretorius, shakes hands with Phakama High School Principal Zamayedwa Jaxa with Myrtle February, chairperson of Garden Cities Archway Foundation, looking on at the unveiling of one of five science labs on Tuesday. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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From this week, Five schools in the province will make use of much improved facilities for learning science and mathematics.

This is because the University if the Western Cape has partnered with Garden Cities Archway Foundation and the Department of Education to hand over science laboratories called UWC Science Learning Centres at Western Cape schools.

The schools are Phakama High School in Lower Crossroads, Manzomthombo in Mfuleni, Spes Bona in Athlone, York Road Primary School in Lansdowne and Ocean View.

The addition of these schools bring the total number of centres in the schools to 45.

The construction of the science learning centres is an extension of the curriculum support provided by UWC-SLCA and serve as a reward for committed science teachers, school management and learners.

The construction of the centres began in 2011 when the university partnered with the foundation with the education department joining the partnership and contributing around 30 % of the cost associated with the centres.

Rector of the University of the Western Cape, Prof Tyrone Pretorius said that adequate learning facilities were pivotal in the improvement of maths and science education in the country.

“The benefit of education is not just for the individuals but for the community and the county as a whole.

If we have population of educated individuals we will have an educated nation,” he said.

“We have to start with the basics in terms of supporting teachers to have the confidence to teach science with an advanced level of understanding, knowledge and teaching skills.

Similarly, we have to be creative in providing learners with opportunities that will draw their interest and willingness to learn.

Hence developing a culture of science teaching and learning will be a good start to improve NSC and other assessments...having a confident and knowledgeable science teacher in a conducive environment provided by the UWC Science Learning Centres is a step in the right direction.”

Speaking at Phakama High he said that he hoped that the school will continue their efforts improve their marks.

“I have noted that Mr Jaxa spoke of the one distinction they received for science and the four for natural sciences last year. I hope that they will start working on improving those numbers now,” he noted.

Myrtle February, chairperson of Garden Cities Archway Foundation, encouraged the learners to make use of the facilities.

“When we visit schools to check on the facilities donated we find that the equipment is parked away in boxes so that it can be preserved.

They are not using them and so that they kept in good condition. That is not what they are for, they need to be utilised in order to be helpful to the learners,” she said.

Phakama principal Zamayedwa Jaxa said that he was confident that his learners were going to take full advantage of the facility.

“When we look at the current crop of Grade 12s we are quite confident that this facility will help them improve their marks.”

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