21 October 2008
South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation has pledged over R7-million to support the education department’s Dinaledi schools programme, which is dedicated to improving mathematics and science education in the country.
The IDC has ‘adopted’ 15 schools, and has pledged to support each with R100 000 over the next three years.
Over and above that, the IDC will support a top student from each school, providing them with a tertiary education bursary for three years to pursue careers in maths, science and technology.
“The IDC’s contribution to eduation was informed by the government’s concerted efforts to address the shortage of skills, especially in the maths, science and technology sectors,” said IDC chief executive Geoffrey Qhena in a statement earlier this month.
“Moreover, we have made a conscious decision to channel our efforts to schools in poorer municipal areas.”
The schools are from the Sekhukhune district municipality in Limpopo, the Kgalagadi district municipality in the Northern Cape, the Ehlanzeni district municipality in Mpumalanga and the Alfred Nzo district municipality in the Eastern Cape.
As part of its efforts to boost education in maths and science, the IDC also has a bursary fund to offer financial support for up to 100 students each year at accredited South African universities, and also supports Technology in Rural Schools, a non-governmental organisation that trains teachers in rural areas.
The Department of education plans to have some 500 schools from across the country participating in the Dinaledi programme by the end of this year, with the aim of achieving 50 000 mathematics passes on higher grade by 2009.
In October last year, the Zenex Foundation entered into a R10-million partnership with the Dinaledi schools programme to increase teaching quality and learner performance in English language skills.
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