Spring Light Gas (SLG) which is one of the largest compressed gas suppliers in South Africa, and second largest in piped gas, partnered with the Moses Kotane Institute (MKI), an entity of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) to deliver a Science Laboratory to Thandolwesizwe High School in Lindelani township.
The partnership between the two organisations was aimed at advancing the learning of Science, both life and physical sciences, especially in previously disadvantaged schools from KZN through providing much needed science learning resources.
On the Tuesday, 5 September 2017, SLG and MKI officially handed over the science laboratory to Thandolwesizwe High School. With the donation of the Science lab, it is expected that learners will benefit from practical scientific experimentation and visual/tactile stimuli to make science real.
Speaking at the Handover ceremony, Mr Phumele Nkosi, the Chief Education Specialist stated that one of the main reasons that hindered the school from getting excellent results was because of the lack of resources. “This programme happened at a very good time as we are the KZN department of Education we are left with less than 50 days before we start the NCS examinations. As the Department of Education, we embrace any form of support that will come from any sector and today we are here to celebrate the contribution that is made by the private sector in advancing the public education and going forward Thandolwesizwe High School have no longer excuses not to perform well,”
In 2016, the school produced a poor set of Grade 12 results. With an overall Grade 12 pass rate of 42%, the school performed even more poorly in Physical Science in achieving a pass rate of only 34%. In 2017 the school is aiming to get a 75% pass rate in the sciences and it is expected that the Science lab resources will assist in reaching this target.
Mr Mthoko Mbatha, Acting Group Chief Executive Officer, SLG indicated that “Our strategic goal to partner with the Department of Education and partner with institutions such as the Moses Kotane Institute and Lasec, is to ensure that we provide the much-needed resources to the schools.” The study of science subjects remains central to young people grasping economic opportunities in an economy driven by science and technology.
Mr Mbatha also encouraged learners to take the learning opportunity very seriously, as it’s a rare opportunity, “you don’t find often that companies come to your school and seek to provide resources in a manner in which it has been provided here, you must take the opportunity of what is happening here very seriously, to advance yourselves,” Mbatha said.
Dr Sakhile Ngcobo, the Moses Kotane Institute Board Chairperson also affirmed to learners that education is the only tool that they can use to conquer poverty and to change their backgrounds.
Drawing on his own personal experience, Dr Ngcobo said “Education is the only way that will take you out of poverty, and by educating you-it’s not just about you, but it’s about your family and your entire village.”
He further added that “The future is bright, as our government has come up with a number of initiatives to ensure that there is no learner that cannot access higher education in South Africa. People talk about free education as if it’s a dream, “Free education” is a reality that happens every day. If you have done well in matric and you are a deserving student, our government has made a plan for you.”