Bay schools benefit from maths and science project

2018-03-07 06:00
Pictured here are Enqileni Primary School learners (in front) with some of their teachers, at the back, from left, Zodwa Andrias, Mpumelelo Koom, Elliot Mfecane, Vuyiswa Nzube (principal) and Thando Dikeni.

Pictured here are Enqileni Primary School learners (in front) with some of their teachers, at the back, from left, Zodwa Andrias, Mpumelelo Koom, Elliot Mfecane, Vuyiswa Nzube (principal) and Thando Dikeni.

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WITH the start of the new school year, Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA’s) journey to ignite a love for science and mathematics among 1 600 intermediate phase learners is in full swing.

Initiated in January last year, the Mathematics and Science Primary School Project is a joint initiative between TNPA and the Johannesburg-based maths and science education company, SCIMAT Education and Disposals.

Aimed at Grade 4 to 7 pupils and teachers, the primary school programme originated when TNPA recognised a gap in the academic structure between primary and secondary school learners.

TNPA corporate social investment manager Shadi Montjane said feedback and consultation with high school educators revealed the need to create an affinity for mathematics and physical science at the foundation phase in order to create a solid foundation on which to build later.

“At the moment, the majority of academic interventions are at high school or tertiary level and it is often too late for those who lack a basic understanding of fundamental concepts in mathematics and physical science.

“Thus, TNPA has taken upon its shoulder to close that gap and play its part in planting that seed in our future leaders,” Montjane said.

Eight primary schools from across the Western and Eastern Cape were identified by TNPA’s corporate social investment team last year and received mobile science lab sets consisting of all the necessary equipment to conduct practical experiments in real time.

These eight schools serve as feeder schools to TNPA’s adopted secondary institutions which teach pure mathematics and science.

Port Elizabeth schools Enqileni Senior Primary School and Young Park Primary School became the latest and final recipients of the training and equipment.

Young Park Primary’s principal, Jeremy Langeveld, said the introduction of the programme into a school where the majority of the pupils came from disadvantaged homes, had the potential to lead to life-changing experiences for these future leaders.

“Our learners will now be in a position to experience the practical part of these subjects, no longer simply sitting, listening to the teacher but now becoming actively involved in the learning process,” he added.

The adoption process is expected to last between three and five years per school.

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