In partnership with the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), gases and welding company Afrox officially unveiled the upgraded Jabulani Welding Centre at the Jabulani Technical High School, in Soweto, on Friday.
Afrox MD Brett Kimber highlighted that, as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, it had established a partnership with the GDE to improve technical schools’ curriculum delivery by improving the welding facilities of five technical high schools in Gauteng, as well as providing teacher support for these technical high schools in the field of welding in mechanical technology.
The upgrades at the five schools took six months to complete and included outfitting classrooms with welding equipment and consumables to conform to “the highest health and safety standards”.
Kimber said that, over the past year, the partnership had invested over R1-million in upgrading the facilities at Katlehong Technical High School, in Katlehong; Primrose High School, in Germiston; Modiri Technical High School, in Mamelodi; Missouri Secondary School, in Eldorado Park; and Jabulani Technical High School.
The equipment investment covered a range of Afrox Transarc metal inert gas, or MIG, inverter power sources and personal protective equipment, as well as many consumables, such as alloys, electrodes and wires.
The project supported the Turnaround Plan of Technical High Schools in Gauteng through the refurbishment and resourcing of the welding workshops, as well as the provision of teacher support programmes.
The envisaged training would provide further education and training technology teachers the opportunity to improve and update their content knowledge and practical skills so as to deliver the full curriculum and enhance learner performance in mechanical technology.
The teacher training formed part of an accredited 40-hour training programme over a ten-week period starting in January and will take place at Afrox’s Demonstration Centre, in Germiston.
Additionally, GDE deputy-director general for educational support Vuyani Mpofu emphasised that it was the responsibility of the learners, teachers and the local community to ensure the equipment was taken care of and used correctly.
“We cannot allow for this expensive equipment to be vandalised or stolen. The destruction or stealing of this equipment is, in essence, the stealing of our learners’ future,” he stressed.