Jan 2021 Edition

Engines to rev up pupils’ future

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

Ford engines valued at R7,8 million have been donated to technical schools to promote youth skills development and training in the automotive industry. Otto Du Plessis High School pupil Agnes Farret next to an engine donated by Ford to her school.

A partnership between one of the world’s leading car producers and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) is set to develop the skills of pupils from 240 technical schools across the country.

Car manufacturer Ford is donating 240 engines for learning at schools that teach technical subjects such as mechanical (automotive) technology. The engines include the new 2.0 Bi-Turbo and 2.0 Single Turbo engines, as well as the 2.2 and 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi engines. These are used in a variety of South African-built models, such as the Ford Ranger pickup, Ranger Raptor off-road pickup and the Everest sport utility vehicle, as well as the European-built Ford Transit.

One of the benefiting schools is Otto du Plessis High School in Port Elizabeth, where each year 60 pupils between grades 10 and 12 will have the opportunity to use their engine for practical learning, which will equip them for further studies in related fields.

Principal at the school Tinus van Eeden says that the 2.2 litre Duratorq TDCi engine will be used to teach the pupils how to take the engine apart and re-assemble it. He says that pupils will also learn how to identify the different parts of an engine.

Chairperson of the school governing body Morne Scott says Ford’s Struandale Engine Plant, where the donated engines were produced, is located across the road from the school.

“The reality is that a lot of our former pupils end up working at the Ford plant so having the engine at the school to learn from will help them find jobs quicker. The kids at the school will be readily equipped for the working environment,” says Scott.

Accepting the donation, DBE Deputy Minister Reginah Mhaule says the engines will enhance the teaching of mechanical technology.

“We are confident that giving learners at school level access to our world-class engines will foster new interest in automotive technology, and will inspire the next generation of engineers, designers and technicians who will lead future development and innovation in this sector,” says Struandale Engine Plant manager Shawn Govender.

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