12 June 2018

Smiths Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd provides a boost for Science Education at Mariannpark Primary School with a state of the art Science Laboratory

Submitted by Ahmed
Smiths Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd provides a boost for Science Education at Mariannpark Primary School with a state of the art Science Laboratory

Smiths Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd a leading manufacturer and assembler of automotive air-conditioning and engine cooling components based in Pinetown, unveiled a new state of the art Science Laboratory at Mariannpark Primary School, valued at R300 000.An international study placed South Africa’s grade 5 and grade 9 pupils right at the bottom for science and second-last for maths.

The Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS), is conducted every four years and the last results were released late in 2016, which included 59 countries. About 12,500 South African pupils and 330 maths and science teachers from 292 schools participated in the study, according to the Human Sciences Research Council. “This is simply not good enough for one of Africa’s economic powerhouses such as South Africa” said Paul Vermaak the Human Resources Director at Smiths Manufacturing.

Vermaak added that "We, at Smiths Manufacturing, truly believe that South Africa’s youth deserve the best education we can provide. However, we also recognise that many of our schools are under-resourced, inhibiting both teaching and learning, placing ever greater challenges to bring disadvantaged schools up to appropriate levels. Greater muscle is required to overcome some of these financial challenges, not least of which involves the effective promotion of science and maths education in, especially, disadvantaged schools. In view of this situation, I am pleased to say that Smiths Manufacturing is pleased to have had the opportunity to assist Mariannpark Primary School, providing the R300 000 sponsorship for the new science laboratory and resource facilities.

"EThekwini Mayor Councillor Zandile Gumede was travelling on the day of the Laboratory handover but sent her representative Councillor Pearl Luthuli, to convey her message. “Our country and Province is facing a huge skills shortage especially in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and we urge you our learners to derive maximum benefit from these great facilities and resources that have been provided to you and please also take great care of them. We would also like to thank Smiths Manufacturing for this kind gesture and it is great to see the Private sector getting involved in Education”, read the message from the Mayor. 

The school's Principal, Mr Lucky Nkosi, and his team have long been passionate about the active promotion of science education, in spite of lacking the necessary and appropriate laboratory facilities. A delighted Mr Nkosi was beaming with joy at the opening ceremony and said that the laboratory will benefit not only learners from Mariannpark Primary, but that he and his team will open up the laboratory for the other schools in the area as well, and so the entire community benefits. “This is truly a milestone in the history of the school and we would like to commend Smiths Manufacturing for this magnanimous gesture”, added Nkosi. 

The project was coordinated and managed by Ahmed Motala of the New Africa Education Foundation, an NPO that has partnered with Smiths Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to roll out projects at previously disadvantaged schools