Learners at Nilgiri Secondary School in Mariannhill Pinetown, which actively promotes the study of science at the school, and who have up to now had to imagine experiment outcomes because of the lack of a laboratory and science resources are now able to see the real thing, thanks to the sponsorship of a “state of the art” Science laboratory by Smiths Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd.
SA's quality of maths and science education has failed to impress, as the country was ranked last among 140 economies in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index. With this uppermost in their mind, Smiths Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd, a Pinetown-based Company which is a leading manufacturer and assembler of automotive air-conditioning and engine cooling components are determined to change this through providing learners the best possible resources with the objective to improve results” said Paul Vermaak the Human Resources Director at Smiths Manufacturing.
Under the management of Smiths Manufacturing (SED) committee an amount of R395 000.00 was provided to fund this project. "At a time when Maths, Technology and particularly, Science education has become a national imperative, it is most heartening to find Nilgiri Secondary School, a school which is extremely enthusiastic over Science. It is sad, however, that in spite of this forward-thinking approach, the school lacked the basic facilities necessary to ensure that its learners have every opportunity to excel and were unable to benefit from actually conducting experiments in order to better grasp such obviously difficult scientific concepts." added Vermaak.
Mr MS Molefe, Principal of Nilgiri Secondary added that "Regardless of the challenges this school faces, this is a school which simply refuses to buckle and slip into the mire of mediocrity because of its situation and location. This is a school with the initiative, resourcefulness and courage to rise above its difficulties and we have introduced a range of science and maths programmes to improve the educational ability for the benefit of our learners, and we are eternally grateful to Smiths for this great gesture, added Molefe.
According to Mr Louis Taylor, Director of Partnerships in education, “the Department of Basic Education (DBE) is highly appreciative of the contributions made by business in order to improve the quality of education in less privileged communities. The DBE welcomes this initiative by Smiths Manufacturing and we will ensure that the Science Laboratory will be optimized by the school.
The project was coordinated and managed by Ahmed Motala of the New Africa Education Foundation, an NPO that has partnered with Smiths Manufacturing and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to roll out other projects at previously disadvantaged schools.