Ricochet News

Port of East London positively impacts Eastern Cape education

Jan 25, 2018
Port of East London positively impacts Eastern Cape education

The Port of East London has put its money where its mouth is with the financial support of the Scitech Maths and Science programme for Grade 12 learners and teachers.

This is not only in line with Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA’s) Corporate Social Investment focus area of education, but also in light of the 2017 matric results released recently.

The Matric results officially confirmed that the Eastern Cape’s results were the lowest in the country for the eighth consecutive year.

“The Port of East London is committed to make a difference where the province’s biggest need is – education. We specifically help the community in which we operate to build capacity in maths and science,” said Sharon Sijako Port Manager of TNPA’s Port of East London.

“TNPA has partnered with ITEC and high schools to also respond to the business challenge relating to critically scarce skills. Together we want to facilitate a conducive learning environment for the improvement of mathematical and physical science skills, which offer a solid grounding for maritime careers.”

“We have recently completed year three of our second 3-year funding programme. This entailed the funding of Grade 12 Maths and Science classes on Saturdays for learners from disadvantaged schools in the East London district, which includes Mdantsane, Gompo and Duncan Village. The initiative also covered a support programme for Maths and Science teachers from underperforming schools in the district,” Sijako said.

Impacting thousands of learners

TNPA has funded the Scitech project over a number of years, impacting more than 2000 learners to date. Scitech learners have performed far better than the provincial and district average. The majority have shown a significant improvement in their results during their participation in the programme.

A number of Scitech learners have also successfully entered the maritime and engineering fields as well as other maths and science related careers. They were further impacted by life skills, leadership skills and career development support, which is integrated throughout the programme.

In 2017, 30 maths and physical science teachers and 240 Grade 12 learners benefitted from the programme, including a Holiday School at ITEC’s premises in East London and Sandisiwe High School in Mdantsane.

The learners also participated in TNPA career expos, maritime career guidance days and other academic interventions throughout the year.

Teacher support

Scitech includes a strong teacher support element, since a key challenge in improving maths and science outcomes is teacher subject knowledge and teaching techniques.

The project, in conjunction with the Department of Education, offers much needed seminars to teachers. Teachers are supported in specific content problem areas which are highlighted by the National Diagnostic Report published each year by the Department of Basic Education.

TNPA support

TNPA’s financial support included coordination, tutoring costs, computer training, field trips, transport of learners and staff, catering, administration costs and project management.

More about ITEC

ITEC, a Non-Profit Organisation, was founded over 30 years ago to provide non-racial services and resources during the height of political tension and turmoil. 

It has remained responsive to education and development needs in the Eastern Cape, offering a range of programmes that include maths, science and technology, reading for pleasure and meaning, and early childhood development.  To promote long-term and deep change, ITEC focuses on building adult capacity to support children’s learning and development.  

news 18256 22786 2 jpgnews 18256 22788 4 jpgnews 18256 22789 1 jpg