New planetarium opens in South Africa

Celestial bodies, planets, stars, moons, comets, asteroids – these wonders of space have become more accessible to children. The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Joburg has opened a new planetarium, a result of a co-operation agreement between the Department of Basic Education and China.

“We want them [students] to learn as much as they can from this planetarium,” said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. “The importance of learning about these is mainly how they affect our own planet and its inhabitants currently, and how they could affect it in future.”

She opened the planetarium on 7 March.

The agreement between the department and China covers curriculum development and implementation; science, technology and mathematics education; teacher training and development; vocational education and training; and research and development to improve training.

Learning Mandarin

The minister also said the process of formalising policy to teach Mandarin at South African schools was advanced.

“I am happy to announce that 2 000 textbooks will be donated by the Chinese government to assist in teaching Mandarin in schools until a South African textbook is developed,” she said. “We are also looking at establishing e-learning classrooms for the pilot schools teaching Mandarin.”

There are currently 14 schools teaching the language.

See South Africa school children sing in Mandarin:

Source: South African Government News Agency