South African students urged to excel in maths and science

7 September 2015

Schoolchildren have been encouraged to take up maths and science and to work hard to achieve their dreams.

Speaking at the handover of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) mobile science laboratory at Thubalethu High School in Eastern Cape, Communications Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams urged pupils to be dedicated and make good use the facility.

“It begins with hard work and dedication,” she said on 4 September. “I urge you to make use of these facilities; tap the knowledge of your teachers and make science, maths and technology part of your life.”

South Africa needed young people who wanted to work hard and who wanted to make the nation stronger and better.

“Our country is facing a skills shortage and we need young people such as yourselves with technical skills to fill the skills gaps in our economy. The National Development Plan, our blueprint for a better tomorrow, identifies the important role of science, technology and innovation in achieving the country’s longer-term vision.”

Open many doors

“The science lab that has been provided by the NYDA will go a long way towards making your dreams a reality,” she told pupils. “It will help the school to unearth the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians who will help to move South Africa forward.”

Science and maths were subjects that could get one into any field. “Believe me when I say maths and science gets you everywhere. Every sector of our economy has been transformed by technology, and there is no job where maths is not useful. For you to succeed in the modern world, you need maths and science and this message should resonate with you when choosing subjects,” the minister explained.

A changing world

This was alongside the government’s Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Development Initiative (Asidi) schools programme.

Asidi was established by the Department of Basic Education to eradicate backlogs in school infrastructure in previously disadvantaged communities. It also upgrades the standard of schools.

“Learners, I urge you to make use of the new science lab. The world we live in is rapidly changing and science, maths and technology are at the forefront of this change. Programmes such as this one are important because they support our objective of expanding access the world of maths and science.”