Sept 2013

New school brings modernity to Madiba’s village

Written by Samona Murugan
A brand-new school of science and technology promises to be a centre of excellence in and around Mvezo Village in the Eastern Cape - the birthplace of former President Nelson Mandela

The architect’s model of the new Mandela School of Science & Technology.The R100 million Mandela School of Science & Technology is one of the country’s biggest private-public partnerships, punting government's message that together we can do more. Heeding to the call, is engineering and electronics giant Siemens, who partnered up with the Mvezo Development Trust, the De of Science and Technology to create a school specialised in Science and Technology.

The school, which boasts 25 classrooms with a capacity to accommodate 700 learners will open its doors in January 2014 as the first high school in the area. Previously, learners had to move to other areas to complete their higher education or be forced to drop out of school. Now they don’t have to, thanks to former President Mandela’s dream of building the first high school in his former village.

The new school is informed by Mandela’s belief that education is a powerful weapon that can be used to change the world. Jumping on board to make his dream a reality was Siemens global President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Loescher. After officially meeting Mandela and hearing his vision, the project was a done deal.

Construction of the new school began in equipped with building skills to work on the project. Great progress has been made with the hall, the admin block, the resource centre and sports centre already completed.

To make the school environmental friendly, wind and solar energy panels have been installed and energy efficient lighting will be used, among others.

As part of its investment and commitment to the success of the school, Siemens will con- tribute towards the school’s operational and maintenance costs for three years.

The school aims to produce graduates who will take up careers in science and engineering. Learners will thus have to do engineering, science, technology or agriculture from Grade 10 to 12. The school will begin its intake in 2014 with learners from Grades 8 to 10, and will be at full capacity by 2016, admitting students from Grades 8 to 12.

According to Head of the Royal House of intake in 2014 with learners from Grades 8 to 10, and will be at full capacity by 2016, admit- ting students from Grades 8 to 12.

According to Head of the Royal House of Council, Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, who is also a grandson of Nelson Mandela, learners will be drawn from some 22 feeder schools in the area. “This contribution by Siemens of the new Mandela School of Science & Technology is easily the most significant investment in education that this area has ever seen. This initiative will change the lives of this community forever.”

“We need more companies like Siemens to work with us so that young learners can build study paths and careers in science, engineering, technology and related fields,” says Nosipho Skenjana, Chief Directorate: Institutional Management, Development and Governance at the Eastern Cape Department of Education.

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