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Aug 27, 2010

Sasol incubating mathematics and science talent

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The Govan Mbeki Mathematics Devel- opment Unit, an entity within the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) sponsored by chemicals giant Sasol, recently concluded the Sasol Maths and Science Incubator School Programme, in the Eastern and Southern Cape, with near-dis- tinction scores achieved by the winning student.

Sandile Mashaya, of St Thomas Secondary School, in Port Elizabeth, earned the highest overall test scores for grade 12 with 311,5 out of 400, which is just short of a distinction, at 77,88%.

The top two grade 11 learners scored 86,8% and 78,25%.

Kwezi Lomso Comprehensive School, in Port Elizabeth, achieved the highest overall scores.

The aim of the programme is to develop mathematics and science skills in high school learners so that they are able to follow related career paths.

“The promotion of mathematics and science at school level is internationally regarded as beneficial to the growth of all economies, especially developing economies like South Africa’s,” says Sasol corporate community affairs manager Pam Mudhray.

The programme started in October 2009 and classes were held on Saturdays at the Missionvale campus of NMMU over a period of 14 weeks.

The programme consisted of 28 mathematics and 28 science lessons and hosted 120 grade 12 and 110 grade 11 maths and science students from schools predominantly in the Nelson Mandela metropolitan municipality.

The lessons were also supported by suit- ably qualified university students who acted as a peer support group, offering individual attention to those who required it.

“There is a shortage of educators in these subjects, which is reflected in the poor performance of learners across the country. Our involvement with NMMU is multidimensional and has included maths Olympiads for younger learners, even at primary school level, as well as programmes to nurture those learners who wish to become educators in both maths and science,” says Mudhray

The programme ended on August 14, and a prize-giving ceremony was held at NMMU.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
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