The mathematics and science skills of pupils in rural Eastern Cape schools are set to improve, following the opening of the Albertina Sisulu Science Centre in Cofimvaba.
Daan Jonker of the provincial education department says the multi-million-rand centre will be a mathematics, science and technology education hub. It will have training venues and permanent science exhibitions, and has the potential to serve the wider society within Chris Hani and surrounding districts.
The centre is the first in South Africa to be purpose-designed, with green science, technology and innovation used in the actual building.
Eighty percent of the schools that are intended to benefit from the centre are within a radius of about 60km, he adds.
What the centre offers
Focus areas include mathematics, physical sciences, life sciences, agricultural sciences, technical mathematics, tech sciences, information and communications technology, engineering graphics and design, and electrical technology.
The centre will have multi-purpose mobile devices, 35 laptops donated by the Department of Basic Education, an indigenous knowledge system recorder centre, lecture theatre, planetarium and workshop.
“The science centre will establish links with existing national science centres and use their programmes to benchmark its business strategy. The well-established centres like Sci-Bono and Cape Town Science Centre will be used as points of reference,” says Jonker.
He says the Cofimvaba centre will assist with teacher development and training programmes, and will serve the 26 high schools in the area that previously relied on a mobile science unit donated by the Department of Science and Innovation and Sasol.
Schools thatwould like to makåe use of the centre can contact Jonker by email on firstname.lastname@example.org