Premier Helen Zille and Minister Debbie Schäfer visit the Cape Academy of Maths, Science and Technology – Holiday Programme

By Premier Helen Zille and Minister Debbie Schäfer:

Today we visited the Safe Schools Holiday Programme at the Cape Academy for Maths, Science and Technology.

The holiday programme at the Academy is designed for learners in grades 10 and 11, covering exciting topics such as Robotics, Aviation and an Introduction to Pilot training.

It is run in conjunction with the Sakhikamva Foundation and the Cape Academy for Maths, Science and Technology.

The Sakhikamva Foundation believes that the future of South African aviation lies with the country’s highly talented youth, its mission being to identify and develop this talent in ensuring that a solid foundation is laid to feed the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics pipeline.

Last month the Sakhikamva Foundation introduced the World’s first Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Aerospace and Mathematics Laboratory (STREAM). The facility opened last month in Tokai. It is set to create a culture of learning in these key subjects and will empower the youth and ultimately create leaders in the field of science and technology.

Today we had the opportunity to ‘take flight’ in Tommi the aeroplane. The aeroplane features an advanced flight simulator with movable control surfaces, creating a realistic flight experience for learners and visitors to the laboratory.

Tommi is surrounded by six interactive areas, including a twelve seater SPACE room which has a connection to the International Space Station and Hubble Telescope, an Experimental laboratory, a briefing room, a simulation room and scientific display areas.

Learners from schools in the Metro South Education District are attending the programme. The schools include Aloe High School, Phakama High School, Tafelsig, High School, Steenberg High School, Sibelius High School, Crestway High School, Wynberg High School, Bergvliet High School, Heathfield High School, Muizenberg High School and Livingstone High School.

“It is wonderful to see so many young people actively interested in this holiday programme and what will be required for a career in aviation”, said Premier Zille

“I was very pleased to see fun activities being enjoyed by learners which simultaneously teach them crucial concepts of maths and science which are vital to our economy”, said Minister Schäfer

As a developing country and a relatively young democracy, South Africa desperately needs skills to help our country compete internationally, grow economically and generally improve the lives of all our citizens.

We need to educate our learners to enable them to be productive members of society, to take up positions where there are jobs available and where there are critical needs.

As a government, we are working hard to encourage our learners to take mathematics and science, which are both gateway subjects for the economic development of our province and our country and of the personal career opportunities of our learners, and we have placed a lot of resources into these subject areas. We need to prepare our youth to be competitive citizens in the mathematical, scientific and technological world.

We believe that a future with more jobs, less inequality, better education and greater freedom to pursue opportunity is a vision that is shared by all South Africans and must be pursued vigorously. Maths, Science, Engineering and Technology are very important in realising this future.

We would therefore like to thank Sakhikamva Foundation and the Cape Academy for Maths, Science and Technology for their commitment and dedication to education and specifically to this programme.

This is another outstanding example of how partnerships between NGO’s and government can enable us to make things “Better Together” for the benefit of our learners and our country.