New faculty opens

2020-02-11 06:01
Zayd Louw, Josh Johnston, Mike van Schalkwyk, Adam Budge and Uzayr Chilwan. PHOTO: Nettalie Viljoen

Zayd Louw, Josh Johnston, Mike van Schalkwyk, Adam Budge and Uzayr Chilwan. PHOTO: Nettalie Viljoen

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Phase 1 of the new Engineering and Design Faculty (EDF) at Wynberg Boys’ High School (WBHS) was officially opened on Friday 7 February.

Among the guests at the event were provincial minister of education Debbie Schäfer and business mogul Raymond Ackerman. Benefactors of the project and contractors were also in attendance to raise a cup of coffee to the future success of WBHS’s new facilities.

Work on phase 1 began in July last year after almost two years of planning and preparation. The facilities are built on a section of the school grounds which used to serve as a dumping spot for recycling and the refurbishment of desks and chairs.

Jan de Waal, principal at the school, said what had been an eyesore is now a place that will shape learners’ futures. “But it took an awful amount of work,” said de Waal.

Engineering, graphics and design, engineering construction, electronics, creative arts, visual art and technology will be taught at the faculty.

Subjects offered will be fully accredited national senior certificate subjects. Learners will also have to complete an extra-curricular entrepreneurship course designed by Wynberg old boy Andrew Hibling through his company Edge Learning Media.

The school’s vision is to nurture learners who are both high functioning academics and have a skill set in technical subjects.

“Our learners will be able to study today what they will need to be successful in the future,” said De Waal.

Ben Thompson, head of academics, said the establishment of EDF was another representation of what the school does: being at the forefront of education in South Africa.

He says the country is in desperate need of engineers, artisans, and information and communications technology (ICT) specialists and that equipping learners with these skills is critical for the sustainability of South Africa as a whole.

“The faculty is key in providing feedstock into tertiary, industry or wealth generation through entrepreneurship,” Thompson said.

Uzayr Chilwan, a Grade 12 learner, will be among the school’s first matriculants to write the electronics final exam.

He said becoming part of the pioneer electronic class of 2017 was one of the best decisions he ever made. “How many boys will leave high school with the knowledge (and skill) to make a traffic light or a dimmable lamp,” he asked.

Chilwan said, besides helping him to get 100% for the electrical questions in his physics paper, the electronics subject also helped him develop out-of-the-box thinking.

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