(15 November 2010)
Responding to South Africa’s maths and science skills shortage, JSE listed Allied Technologies Limited (Altech) has opened a high technology multi-media training centre for disadvantaged students in KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal.
The multi-media centre is located at the Ntuzuma Teachers’ Training Centre and is a three-way collaboration between the Department of Education, Altech UEC and Protec, a non-profit organisation that takes children from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and develops them in the areas of maths, science, English and life orientation.
According to Craig Venter, Altech CEO, the centre will open up new horizons for underprivileged learners as they seek to acquire the skills required to compete in the South African economy.
“The old Chinese proverb goes: ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’ That is essentially what we are providing through our socio¬economic development programs. We are cultivating resources now in order to ensure our competitiveness in the future,” he said.
“Many of the learners come from extreme poverty and improving the quality of education provides them with a unique opportunity to improve their lives,” he added.
The multi-media centre is built in an extremely central location, catering for 20 secondary schools that fall within a 15km radius. Many of these township schools remain grossly under resourced and overcrowded and without basic facilities such as libraries, laboratories and computer facilities.
As a result, the majority of the young people from these communities leave school ill-equipped with the skills required in today’s technological world. Likewise, there are few homes in the townships that are conducive to studying, many having no electricity and often not even a table on which to do schoolwork.