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New science laboratories to inspire Mahikeng learners

Deputy Basic Education Minister Enver Surty with learnersDeputy Basic Education Minister Enver Surty with learners in Boithaopo Secondary School's newly opened science laboratory. (CLICK IMAGE to view large version)March 2015

Two state-of-the-art science laboratories, donated by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in partnership with the Adopt-a-School Foundation, were officially opened at Boithaopo Secondary School in Mahikeng, North West province on Monday, 30 March.

Formally adopted by the IDC in 2012, Boithaopo Secondary has since been provided with specialist science equipment along with teacher development programmes and supplementary programmes for Grade 10 and 11 learners.

This was followed by the updgrading of the school's water reticulation system and the construction of the two life science and physical science laboratories, representing an investment of R4.5-million in the school, its staff and learners, and the rural community of Kraaipan.

Deputy Basic Education Minister Enver Surty, accompanied by IDC Divisional Executive for Human Capital Josephine Gaveni, North West Education MEC Wendy Matsemela and Adopt-a-School Foundation Executive Director James Motlatsi, cut the ribbon at Monday's opening.

Wearing lab coats and guided by trained technicians, the learners wasted no time in trying out their new laboratories. For many of them, it was their first experience of such facilities, which will enable them to explore scientific concepts and verify scientific facts and formulas using purpose-designed technology and manipulative tools.

Deputy Basic Education Minister Enver Surty and IDC Divisional Executive for Human Capital Josephine GaveniDeputy Basic Education Minister Enver Surty and IDC Divisional Executive for Human Capital Josephine Gaveni at the unveiling of the science laboratories. (CLICK IMAGE to view large version)"This is a wonderful opportunity and I am pleased to hear the learners full of excitement," Deputy Minister Surty said. "This is part of our endeavour to promote mathematical science and technology in our schools, particularly in rural schools.

"The launch of the laboratories is an important event because, firstly, it provides resources to our learners, equipping them with laboratories despite living in rural communities.

"Secondly," the minister said, "it improves teacher development - the educators using the laboratories will know how to use the technology, equipment and resources available. And thirdly, it convinces learners that mathematics and science are interesting through experiencing science practically."

The IDC's objectives in adopting Boithaopo Secondary are to help improve the quality of teaching, boost the number of learners taking science and pure maths, and raise the school's overall matric results. All teachers were trained in how to manage the laboratories and to teach using its equipment. 

Divisional Executive Josephine Gaveni said the opening was testament to the good work the IDC was doing together with the Adopt-a-School Foundation.

Boithaopo Secondary's future scientists and technologistsRaring to go: Boithaopo Secondary's future scientists and technologists. (CLICK IMAGE to view large version)"It was encouraging to see the educators, parents, learners and members of the community embracing the opening of the science laboratories," Gaveni said. "We believe the learners do have the potential and will take up our challenge to them to improve their maths and science using these new facilities.

"The journey does not end with this launch," Gaveni added. "The IDC will continue to partner with the school to ensure the facilities are optimally utilised and to ensure the facilities are impacting on the learners' results going forwards."

Boithaopo Secondary School Principal Norman Phiri described the opening of the laboratories as a key milestone for the school, and called on the learners to rise to the challenge.

"We the school and the community are thankful and very happy with this donation," Phiri said. "This donation has inspired us. We are aiming for level seven results. Our maths and science pupils no longer have any excuses for not improving their marks."

Grade 11 learner Lesedi Gontse said: "Wearing a lab coat and being in a science lab made me feel like I was a professional scientist. I am excited to start experimenting with my fellow pupils, and I hope the labs will make it easier for us learn and understand maths and science."

 

 

 

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