14 January 2009
Volkswagen South Africa has adopted Bokgoni Technical High School in Attridgeville, Pretoria for the next three years as part of its R30-million corporate social investment programme.
The carmaker has invested R844 000 in improving infrastructure at the school, which forms part of the education department’s Dinaledi schools programme – a programme that includes 500 schools in previously disadvantaged areas that focus on mathematics and science development.
Speaking at a function held at the school this week, Education Minister Naledi Pandor commended VW, saying the government needed the support of various partners and stakeholders to overcome the challenges that it faced.
“In particular, we want companies to adopt Dinaledi schools, to mobilise technical support and expertise for the development of mathematics and science,” she said.
In an effort to strengthen public-private collaboration, the department developed an Adopt-a-School framework document which sets out possible areas of collaboration between partners.
The partnership was not only about the giving of money, Pandor said, as the best Adopt-a-School arrangements also involved tutoring and mentoring.
“Those two elements – tutoring and mentoring – can turn the adoption of a school into a firm commitment that will change the lives of children and teachers forever,” she said. “There is also the possibility of benefiting from the expertise of non-specialist teachers and teachers who are working in industry, like engineers, technicians and car makers.”
Quality teaching and learning
According to Pandor, the objectives of the Adopt-a-School project are to secure resources and to promote quality teaching and learning; to encourage increased participation and outstanding performance in maths and science; and to coordinate private sector support to schools and ensure equitable distribution and sustainability of assistance.
“To date, 287 schools have been adopted by different business institutions, private donors and selected institutions of higher learning,” she said.
Pandor added that the department had surpassed its target of 50 000 grade 12 learners passing mathematics in the higher level, with some 63 000 learners passing high level maths in the 2008 national senior certificate examinations.
“Moreover, our Dinaledi schools made a valuable contribution to the number of these successful learners,” she said “Dinaledi schools comprise only 7% of all schools, but contributed 24% of the high-level mathematics passes.”
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