October 2022.

In collaboration with the Maths and Science Leadership Academy (MSLA), Boshof Solar Power has initiated the second and final phase of a STEM training programme for primary school educators and Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners, in the Boshof area. Aimed at encouraging the incorporation of Maths and Science fundamentals into learning from a young age, and not only at High School level, phase two of the programme benefits educators from Grade 1 up to Grade 3.

The training sessions, which took place during the last week of August 2022, at Boshof Combined School, drew nineteen educators, comprising three subject advisors, from Boshof Combined School, Boshof Intermediate School, and Aramela Combined School.

In addition to the Maths and Science Leadership Academy, this programme has been initiated in collaboration with both the Department of Education and Department of Social Development and the training has been provided by LASEC Education.

Speaking to the Department of Education’s Chief Education Specialist: Curriculum Management and Support, ECD and Primary Schools, Mrs Amelia Mofokeng, she explains, “We believe that learners will become curious and want to know more when exposed to STEM concepts. A questioning and enquiring mind is encouraged, which in return will enhance learning. Hence, we hope that the attitude of learners towards the subjects will be very positive and they will want to continue doing the subjects in the future.”

The first phase of the programme was focused on the Grade RR and R age groups, to ensure that the foundation years are solid. This programme is an extension of the education partnership, which kicked off in 2015, between Boshof Solar Power and the MSLA, aimed specifically at stimulating the desire amongst learners to study STEM subjects. The programme has proven to be a success, with regards to both learner attendance and academic achievements and included the provision of learning materials for all participating schools.

“All the teaching aids and apparatus provided played a vital role and opened up a new world to me for my classroom. I will be using the beads and laces, abacus and peg boards for revision and intervention next term, as it will help with pattern, shapes and counting. The geo board will assist in revising doubling and halving as well as fractions. We will also use the clock to revise time,” said Vuyelwa Hester Mhlaba, Grade 2 educator at Boshof Primary School.

The solar plant views this programme as a natural progression, and a key step to driving the uptake and success of STEM in local schools.

“We would like to stimulate an interest in Maths and Science concepts from as young an age as possible as we have noticed when it comes to subject choice time in Grade 10 very few learners are choosing these subjects for Matric. We believe including these subjects until Matric will boost employment opportunities for the learners after school, with our dream being to see a local Boshof learner qualifying as an Engineer and working at our solar plant,” concluded Zuki Ndlela, Economic Development Officer of Boshof Solar Power.

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