Science centres key to learning - Pandor

2011-09-05 20:28

Cape Town - Science centres have a major role to play in encouraging young people to follow careers in science and technology, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said on Monday.

Speaking at the opening of the 6th Science Centre World Congress in Cape Town, she said 26 science centres had been established in South Africa.

"We believe that science centres have a critically important role to play in the development of our human capital, and in strengthening our science and technology culture, not only in South Africa, but in Africa as a whole."

The theme for the five-day congress is "Science Across Cultures".

Pandor said South Africa faced challenges when it came to teaching science and mathematics, the latter being an essential entry requirement for any science programme.

"In South Africa we face a number of challenges in respect of the learning and teaching of mathematics and science. Our performance in international tests like TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) has been poor in the past.

"While last year's final grade 12 results show an overall improvement in mathematics performance, there was little overall improvement in physical science.

"Our public school infrastructure in terms of libraries and laboratories requires considerable attention."

Policies were now in place to establish science centres throughout the country.

"We have already achieved some success in that 26 science centres have been established in eight provinces, and more are planned," Pandor said.

  • GH - 2011-09-05 20:50

    Where are these science centres? Perhaps primary school kids should make a trip there instead of to the zoo, to acquire some interest? Create some awareness and interest. Run a competition where the top school gets the visit. Cumon, get creative! It's not rocket science (or is it):)

  • Eva Bogiages - 2011-09-05 22:25

    We have a looooong way to go to improve the standards of our Science and Maths results and it's going to be particularly difficult because we have too many incompetent educators in these subjects (not to mention the officials at the education department who are so out of touch with what's happening in the classroom). Who is in charge of the Science centres? Why have we not heard of them? What have they achieved and what do they offer our students?

  • pitbull - 2011-09-06 06:34

    There is a science centre in the middle of Jo'burg, at the old power station site in Marshalltown. There would be more but the salary is terrible for scientists. Do you wonder why there are so few scientists and mathematicians? The have to work for grants and subsidies in the rarified air of Universities. School teachers get bad salaries and few scientists can teach children.

  • Pieter Olivier - 2011-09-06 06:52

    Yeah, I don't know. What happened to the MTN one in Century City? We dont know where these places are and the country has virtually no public transport to get people there

  • BnQE - 2011-09-06 07:31

    Pandor - get the basics right first before you dream of Science Centres -

      RIAAN - 2011-09-06 09:53

      Yeah, somebody makes sense. For this you need to be able to write and read

  • King Solomon - 2011-09-07 12:12

    All she does is work................typical ANC politician

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