Jun 01, 2012
Grassroots leadership key to successful educationBack
Education|Lafarge|Lafarge Education Trust|Cement Maker|Western Cape|Cheryl Carolus|Gerrit Olivier|Mpogeng Nkgadima|Semwase
© Reuse this
“Leadership in difficult circumstances is important to effect change,” she said, speaking at a student achievement ceremony in Bodibe rural community, near Lichtenburg, in the North West province.
“What we see are learners in class on time and learning, teachers educating, and clean, neat schools within a very constrained budget. Leadership of these schools, and the leadership displayed by principals and educators, as well as the learners in the community, demonstrate that everyone has a role to play, as primary school excellence feeds into high schools,” she says, adding that the North West province achieved very good matric results, placing it behind only Gauteng and the Western Cape.
Inspiring learners early on can help them to identify technical careers and inspire them to take up diverse fields of endavour, including skills needed by industry and society, says cement maker Lafarge special projects manager Gerrit Olivier. The Lafarge Education Trust adopted a number of schools in the area under the Adopt a School initiative.
“We acknowledge and appreciate the impact made by the Lafarge Education Trust. “There are so many things to do, as the Department of Basic Education, that we cannot cover the backlog of investment and input needed into the schools without such help,” says Semwase.
“It is in the interest of learners that we invest in learners, and this input from the Lafarge Education Trust is important; but learners must work hard – which is what we have observed,” says Lafarge Education Trust chair-person Cheryl Carolus.
“We have to inspire learners for youth development, acknowledge their achievements and the difficult challenges they have over-come,” she noted at the awards.
Further, mathematics and the sciences are important subjects for children to take, says Lafarge Education and Community Trusts programme manager Mpogeng Nkgadima.
“The [Lafarge] plant in Lichtenburg will live for years beyond you and me, and only the community in that area will be able to provide the people required to keep the plant running. “The fact that students are achieving well and improving in maths and the sciences makes us proud, and leadership will emerge from this.”
Lafarge’s Lichtenburg cement plant was built in 1948 and Lafarge has spent R1.2-billion over five years on upgrading and expanding the plant for future production, notes Olivier.
“We give a lot of support to schools and we start with construction materials. A lot of building is taking place, which we like to organ- ise and support, as we have the technical expertise. “We also support schools [in projects] to make bricks for themselves, and some schools make bricks as part of their construction classes,” he says.
The backgrounds of the plant’s operators, engineers and technicians are varied, with some starting with a matric certificate and plant training and then furthering their studies, while others come from academic backgrounds and acquire experience in physical operations and maintenance.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...