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Disadvantaged schools to receive lab on wheels

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

Around 700 children from a Tshwane farm school will benefit from a mobile lab that will enable them to do experiments they only previously read about in their textbooks. Learners from Laezonia Primary School will have a better understanding of science thanks to a science lab donated by Sasol South Africa.

Pupils from a Centurion farm school will reap the rewards of a mobile science laboratory.

The travelling lab will enable pupils from Laezonia Primary School to better understand chemistry, physics and information and communications technology.

Principal of Laezonia Primary School Martha Raholale said thanks to the mobile lab, pupils from grades four to seven will be able to conduct experiments to enhance their learning.

“Our school is on a farm. We don’t have enough classrooms, a staffroom or a laboratory. This mobile lab will enable the pupils to see the things they are learning. The majority of them come from poor households and don’t have TVs on which they can watch these experiments,” Raholale said.

She said in the past, pupils did not do their homework because they did not have the right resources. “Our pupils will now conduct experiments here at school and their results should improve because they will be able to better understand what they previously only read about in books.”

The lab, which will serve 40 Gauteng schools, was donated to the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre by petroleum company Sasol. Sci-Bono Chief Executive Officer More Chakane said the lab will help promote the quality of pupil’s results. He said it would be rotated among schools in Gauteng’s poorest areas.

“With this mobile lab, we are also trying to change the attitude of pupils to say that these things we only see in books are practical," he said.

The laboratory will assist Gauteng in its aim of achieving a 100 percent matric pass rate.

Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, which is the biggest science centre in Southern Africa, also runs free science and mathematical experiments for disadvantaged schools.

Chakane said they approached Sasol to donate the mobile lab after realising that some schools could not afford to visit their Newtown, Johannesburg, premises on a weekly basis.