Choose maths and science - Pandor

2014-10-11 20:51
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Research shows poor performance of maths teachers in KZN

2014-07-24 11:29

Research conducted by Dr Sarah Bansilal and a team from UKZN showed poor results when KZN maths teachers were asked to complete a standard matric exam paper. Dr Bansilal spoke to us about the findings. Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg - Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said on Saturday that passing Grade 12 mathematics and physical science offered an opportunity to contribute to South Africa's space scientific and technological development.

"I encourage you all to choose mathematics and physical science, but not all of you will become space scientists or engineers," she said at the launch of the world space week at the Walter Sisulu University's Mthatha campus.

"You must always remember that these are demanding careers, which require a high level of perseverance and precision.

"It is for this reason that one of my department's responsibilities is to discover pupils with talent and potential for space science, engineering and technology careers."

She said the space week at the university campus was to offer pupils exposure to the university environment.

"Even though it is for a very short time, I believe that it could be enough to stimulate your interest to come and study here.

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"On the one hand, if you are still in grade Eight or Nine, the interaction you had today [on Saturday] with the laboratory facilities and staff on this campus may be enough to make you think twice about skipping mathematics and science when you enter grade 10 in a year or two from now."

She said this year's world space week highlighted the benefits of satellite navigation to humankind.

"To most of us that means using Global Positioning System (GPS) to determine where we drive in our cars. GPS is made up of 32 satellites that orbit the earth.

"If you have a receiver, you can use GPS. All it needs is to be able to see four of the satellites."

She said the GPS was not used not only in cars.

"It's used to avoid collisions in shipping and for landings of commercial aircraft. It has revolutionised fishing, allowing fishing boats to keep track of where they have fished before. It's used in applications that allow people to keep track of their children, elderly relatives and pets."

Read more on:    naledi pandor  |  east london  |  education

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