Friday, November 14, 2014

Sibaya helps support maths and science programme in a big way

Sibaya’s Afrisun KZN Community Development Trust extends support for maths and science out-reach programme

Kudzai Mqingwana, Judge Tshabalala, Candice Potgieter and Sunil Geness

Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom, through the Afrisun KZN Community Development Trust, has reaffirmed its commitment to science education and development amongst disadvantaged school learners with a R500 000 funding commitment to KZN Science Centre’s outreach programme for the next year.

A cheque was handed over on Thursday, October 16th at the launch of the Afrisun KZN Community Development Trust Educational Outreach Tour at Enkukwini Primary School. This is the second consecutive year that the Trust has supported the KZN Science Centre which since 2002, has focused on providing experiential learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at under-resourced schools in the KZN region.

The KZN Science Centre is a dynamic education facility that provides curriculum-based learning programmes and exhibitions, outreach-based activities and Science Resource Kits to promote science and maths education. Its staff members are all graduates of science, maths and technology and are passionate about teaching and helping educators and learners access the sciences.

With funding support from Afrisun KZN Community Development Trust in 2013, The KZN Science Centre purchased a mobile science lab which travels to schools that do not have laboratory facilities to conduct workshops with learners and educators. All activities are linked to the curriculum and science kits and material are fully endorsed by the KZN Department of Education.

In the first year of the mobile science lab outreach programme, 50 000 learners were impacted. The KZN Science Centre also trained teachers and resourced science labs. The aim is to reach 34 000 additional learners with this second year of support from Afrisun KZN Community Development Trust.

“We are proud to support the KZN Science Centre’s outreach programme and we are delighted with the progress made in its first year. We consider this to be an important initiative which serves to improve maths and science education in under-resourced schools. The state of maths and science education in South African schools is a growing concern. The system is failing to deliver enough school-leavers equipped with adequate maths and science skills to address the ever-widening skills shortages in most sectors.  The KZN Science Centre does tremendous work in developing these essential skills and has proven to be a great contributor to maths and science education in its region,” says Judge Vuka Tshabalala, Trustee of Afrisun KZN Community Development Trust.

Candice Potgieter, Chief Executive Officer at The KZN Science Centre says: “Our model of supporting learning in schools is well documented in strengthening learners’ exposure and ability in science and maths. The success of our programmes is due to their interactive nature and their alignment to the curriculum. The sustainability of projects like the outreach programme depends heavily on funding received by many generous donors like the Afrisun Community Development Trust. With its support we can extend the reach of the mobile science lab to impact more learners in more schools.”

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