Eighty intellectually disabled pupils studying at the Mount Fletcher Special School in the rural Eastern Cape can look forward to comfortable, warm nights this winter, thanks to Engen’s donation of new beds. The Engen handover of beds and mattresses on 8 June, totalling R250 000, will get the children off the floor where they have been forced to sleep after enrolment at the school in Xaxazana, Mount Fletcher, spiked this year. “The situation had become urgent, and we are extremely grateful to Engen for stepping up,” says Thabiso Phetuka, chief executive officer of the Eastern Cape Disability Economic Empowerment Trust, of which Engen is a partner. The Eastern Cape Education Department provided bedding for the new beds, as well as water tanks for the school. Mount Fletcher Special School opened at the beginning of 2017, one of six such centres planned for the province by Education MEC Mandla Makupula in his 2017/18 budget to supplement the existing 43 special schools in the Eastern Cape. Phetuka however identified the facility for urgent intervention this year as part of his Trust’s partnership with the provincial Education Department, after the centre proved unable to cope with the demand from intellectually disabled youngsters who ended up sleeping on the floor. The Trust relies on funding from government departments and the private sector to empower disabled people, with Engen’s donations already contributing to the Job Readiness Programme for unemployed people with disabilities and matric pupils at special needs schools. “This programme assists them with career pathing, making choices about further education, and preparation for their participation in the open labour market,” Phetuka explains. Last year Engen extended its social investment focus to add people with disabilities to its original Corporate Social Investment (CSI) target areas, which included education, health and safety, and the environment. Adhila Hamdulay, Engen’s CSI . . .
Afrika Tikkun is a global not-for-profit organisation working to develop, empower and support the youth of South Africa in disadvantaged communities in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Their intention is to shape the youth of today to become the next generations leaders of tomorrow. The approach that they have taken is called the Cradle-to-Career 360? model, which sees full developmental support from infancy to adulthood. However, with a full complement of capable staff behind them their achievements would still not be possible without the financial and in-kind aid of sponsors and the extraordinary efforts of their benefactors. One such company is MTN. Director of Partnerships and Marketing at Afrika Tikkun, Onyi Nwaweri comments: “It is amazing what can be accomplished when we all work together toward a common goal and I would like to thank all of the staff of MTN that have joined us this past week in improving the lives of the youth that we serve. The African proverb holds true: If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together.” Every year from 1 to 21 June, MTN employees around the globe reach out to people less fortunate than themselves as part of their 21 Days of Y’ello Care campaign. During this period they give time, energy, care and financial assistance to improve the lives of community members where MTN connects people. This year, MTN South Africa chose Afrika Tikkun’s Wings of Life Centre in Diepsloot as their beneficiary. Kicking off MTN’s 21 Days of Y’ello Care campaign on 2 June 2018, there was a half marathon around the MTN Innovation Centre in Roodepoort where MTN staff, twenty youth from Afrika Tikkun as well as members of the public joined together to raise funds for Information Communication Technology (ICT) projects in education and in supporting youth skills empowerment programmes. Afrika Tikkun’s Wings of Life Centre is one amongst many other youth centres and schools for leaners with special needs to benefit . . .
EduWeek Africa, the largest and most recognised live education event in Sub-Saharan Africa, hosted its annual awards ceremony on 15 June 2018 at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg. The theme of the exhibition was ‘Education 4.0 for Industry 4.0’, which addressed education’s response to increased automation and data exchange in most industries. EduWeek Africa celebrated all the innovators and service providers that are bridging the gap between education today, and the education of the future at the Education Industry Awards, in key partnership with Pearson South Africa. Herewith a list of the categories of the nominated suppliers and/or distributors of the year, and an indication of the winners in each category: 1. Basic Education 1.1 Impaq 1.2 Snapplify 1.3 Edit Microsystems 1.4 Dr. Lynn Bowie (PhD Mathematics), Maths Coordinator at OLICO Maths Education, receiving the award on behalf of OLICO Maths Education (Category winner). 1.5 Smart Choice 2. TVET & Higher Education 2.1 Mutonji Mayanda, Didactic Solutions Engineer at FESTO (left) and Dr Nader Imani, Executive Vice President Global Education at FESTO (right), receiving the award on behalf of FESTO (Category winner). 2.2 Snapplify 2.3 Christiani GmbH 2.4 Fundi 3. Early Childhood Development 3.1 Edit Microsystems 3.3 Moves for Life 3.3 Missing Link 3.4 Marisa van der Merwe, Mini Chess Founder and CEO, receiving the award on behalf of Mini Chess (Category winner). 3.5 Impaq 4 Inclusive Education 4.1 Sensory Solutions 4.2 Pieter Labuschagne, Managing Director at Edit Microsystems, receiving the award on behalf of Edit Microsystems (Category winner). 4.3 EXOLab 5 ICT 5.1 Parrot Products 5.2 RS Components 5.3 Veative 5.4 Xander (Category winner) 5.5 Edit Microsystems 6 Innovation Award 6.1 Book for Every Child Foundation 6.2 James Green, Head of Global Business Development at Scanning Pens (left) and Pieter Labuschagne, Managing Director at Edit Microsystems (right), . . .
Each year we celebrate Youth Day on the 16th of June. Because of this day and the importance of Youth Development, June is set aside as National Youth Month annually. This year, Youth Month takes place in conjunction with the centenary celebration of Nelson Mandela and Albert Sisulu. The United Nations (UN) also celebrates a youth day. They deem the world’s youngest – and largest – population to be of the utmost importance citing youth as agents of positive change and their inclusion in society more broadly a precondition for sustaining peace. Onyi Nwaneri, Director of Partnerships of Afrika Tikkun says; “In Youth Month we acknowledge and reflect on the sacrifices of the youth of earlier years and take time to look at the struggles, challenges and achievements of the youth of today. They are our future leaders after all. At Afrika Tikkun, young people are at the center of our being, our development work is essentially geared towards enhancing the wellbeing, rights, empowerment, protection and lives of the youth of today.” Afrika Tikkun is an established global non-profit organization with a focus on South Africa and the core belief that every young person has the potential to change the world. They are helping to economically empower young people through their Cradle to Career 360° model, which currently supports over 5000 youth from early childhood development to job placement and beyond. Afrika Tikkun’s Cradle to Career 360° model has three core programmes: The Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres are state-of-the-art facilities with a curriculum that produces school ready children, from age two to six. Throughout the programme children are cared for and supported through activities that assist in developing cognitive, physical and emotional skills, as well as improving the health and wellbeing of children through adequate nutrition, primary health-care, social support, age-appropriate computer skills development, and where a child has . . .
June is a special month for Engen. It is Youth Month, and it provides Engen opportunity to reflect upon its commitment to helping young gifted South Africans to explore new horizons. Trinisha Lutchmiah is one of many whose horizons have opened widely thanks to Engen. Trinisha grew up in Merebank, Durban and later moved to Malvern when she was eight years old. She attended Nizam Road Primary and Malvern Primary before going on to Queensburgh Girls’ High, from which she matriculated with a Bachelors pass. Trinisha’s parents were always generous, supportive and open minded, and they taught her to view the world with a deep sense of tolerance and respect. These qualities came in handy considering that she grew up in a very busy house. Along with her father, Devan, her mother, her younger sister and grandmother, a number of cousins lived with the family, making sure that she was never short of company. She believes that it was her loving family and her father’s unusual parenting techniques that kept the entire chaotic company on the straight and narrow, and which led to her becoming the first person in her family to graduate from a tertiary institution. Thanks to her father’s five House Rules, she learned that studies come first, to be honest and respectful, to be her own person, to be good to others, and to be organised and prepared. “Education was always a priority in our household,” says Trinisha “and I think that is why I have not stopped pursuing my studies. I found out about Engen Maths and Science Schools when my father was working at Engen, and since I previously lived in Merebank, I had family and friends who told me about the EMSS. Trinisha attended the EMSS in Wentworth, at the Fairvale High School, opposite the Engen Refinery. “EMSS gave me a greater understanding in Maths and Physics and exposure to their practical applications. I also enjoyed the English classes as we had a particularly charismatic teacher who gave the books we were studying . . .
She attended four different school, matriculating from Ndyebo Senior Secondary School in Port Elizabeth,where she lived with various family members after the death of her mother when she was in primary school, and found it very hard to believe in herself. That was until her Grade 10 science teacher introduced Amanda Ngqoleka to the Engen Maths and Science Schools (EMSS) programme, and that changed everything. Speaking out to mark Youth Month in a bid to raise awareness about the importance of self-motivation, and to urge youngsters not to believe the world owes them a living, Ngqoleka is proof that adversity can indeed translate to success. “When I was at school, those EMSS classes helped me improve my own marks because I saw other children excelling, and that motivated me to do more,” she recalls. Today, Ngqoleka is a graduate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal where she achieved a BSc Chemistry and Chemical Technology degree and is part of Engen’s Graduate Development Programme, working in the Lubricants Supply Chain division in Durban. It changed her life, she says, transforming her from someone who found it difficult to believe in herself to a person always trying to be her best self. “I used to let other people define me, but not anymore. Now I want to be an example to other youngsters that you shouldn’t let your current situation determine your future.” Ngqoleka’s accomplishments after she matriculatd and won an Engen bursary to pursue her studies, is exactly the kind of result Engen wants to see from its interventions, says Nokulunga Mjwara, Engen Talent Supply Specialist. “Ms Ngqoleka epitomises the quality of the young people we work with in the EMSS and Graduate programmes around the country every year, and our ultimate reward is to help set them up to pursue stimulating careers that won’t only benefit them personally, but also the economy as a whole,” she adds. Ngqoleka credits the Engen Graduate Development Programme . . .
Johannesburg, June 8: BESA Leadership Academy was thrilled to join forces with the prestigious Eye of Africa Golf and Residential Estate to host its very first golf day on 8 June. The event – which featured 25 four-balls – was an exciting occasion, not just because it gave prospective parents and learners an opportunity to meet BESA’s dynamic staff and learn more about the school, its unique culture and forward-thinking approach, but also because experienced and beginner golfers alike had a chance to test their skills on a course that is fast becoming one of the most sought after in Johannesburg. Says Clint Preddy, Managing Partner at BESA Leadership Academy, “We were thrilled to work with Eye of Africa to host this exciting event and raise in excess of R30,000 for a new aircon system for our auditorium. Since the estate is but a stone’s throw from our school, it was an obvious partner of choice as we set out to share our learning philosophy with a wider audience. Eye of Africa also shares our outlook on the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle, and incorporating such activities as part of family time. We were pleased to see facilities like their new MTB trail which promote this, as we believe it is central to raising young people who are physically, emotionally and mentally equipped to face the challenges of the future.” Established in 2010 with just 45 learners, BESA Leadership Academy now accommodates 150 students in grades 8 to 12. The school is known for its personalised approach to education, with every staff member engaging to bring out the best in learners so that they can grow, develop and excel. The development of leadership skills and problem- solving abilities is central to the school’s philosophy and, although academic achievement is, of course, critical, the school aims to provide a holistic education that equips children to follow their dreams. With this in mind, there is strong emphasis on helping children develop empathy and respect . . .
Winter school holidays are just around the corner, and with it inevitably comes three weeks of your children sitting at home complaining that they are ‘bored’ and being unable to play outside because of the cooler temperatures (especially inland) . Bored children tend to bicker with their sibling or end up being mischievous. The winter chill is unfortunately unavoidable but the boredom that comes with it can be sidestepped completely. Before cabin fever hits your home, and you start counting down the hours until the start of third term, try one of our boredom buster activities – they are all not only kid but Blue Bird Aupair approved! 1. Holiday Diary – Buy a note book and cover it and encourage your child to write in it every day. If your child is younger than 8, get them to draw pictures, paint or colour their days. They can get creative as they want and stick in photos, do check-lists of activities they want to do and draw pictures to remind them of the ‘winter holidays of 2018’. 2. Gardening – Checkers’ mini gardens have given children (and their parents!) green fingers overnight. Use the holidays to get the children in the garden, planting, weeding and watering! It brings a new dimension to messy play. 3. Make sock puppets by gluing wool on the top of an old sock and using a permanent marker and scraps of material to make eyes, nose and a mouth, then put on a puppet show. 4. Have a tea party with the little ladies (and gentlemen) in your home. Encourage them to dress in their ‘Sunday best’ for the occasion. Don’t forget dust off the good cutlery and crockery! 5. Visit the library. Municipal libraries are packed with books which will the entire family’s imagination FREE! Just take along your most up-to-date municipal bill, complete the forms and choose from a plethora of books (and DVD’s). 6. Bake your favourite biscuit or cake recipe and let your child decorate their creation as they please. You supply sprinkles, icing and sweeties and let them do the . . .
In the next decade, 80% of all jobs will require skills in maths, science and technology. In order to keep up with changing times, South Africa needs to invest in methods to drastically improve its current ranking as one of the worst in the world for math and science education. In response to this challenge, the Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal provincial governments are in talks to pilot the introduction of Virtual Reality (VR) learning solutions in selected government schools. This new way of teaching and learning through Virtual Reality helps to close the gap between knowledge and understanding. Learners can experience the immersive VR world in which they can travel to New York to see the Statue of Liberty, take a virtual train ride to learn about the concept of relative motion or step inside a green leaf to see the production of oxygen through photosynthesis. Initial results from the inclusion of this technology in South African classrooms has led to positive development in learner behaviour and attitude with 70% of learners indicating that the addition of VR to their syllabi would motivate them to take science and maths related subjects in the future. In addition, 98% stated that learning these subjects through VR has increased their confidence in their abilities. “If you plot historic innovation on a timeline, the results are astounding. Innovation is happening more rapidly than ever before,” says Tanya Jackman, Event Director of EduWeek Africa. “This has led to a massive shift in education practices worldwide. Suddenly, with the use of technology, we are able to pick up learner’s problems long before any human intervention could; enabling educators to meet learners where they are and allowing them to learn at their own pace,” she adds. “We as educators need to develop an attitude of ‘lifelong learning’ allowing us to constantly adapt and adopt innovations within our classrooms and teaching practices. It is imperative for us as a country to . . .
The academic year can be a challenging time for families. It becomes even more so when a child resists or tries to avoid going to school. Cindy Glass, Director and Co-founder of Step Up Education Centres explains “Emotions tend to run high, panic may set in and too often, parents feel quite helpless in these stressful situations. Children may feign illness, throw temper tantrums or act out in other negative ways in order to force their parents to let them stay at home. The reasons why are varied. Children who are being bullied, are constantly being yelled at, who battle with the academic programme or who feel lonely or depressed may insist on staying home instead of attending the regular school day. Exhaustion, fear of an upcoming test or assignment or fears of a wrongdoing may also contribute to school avoidance. Dealing with these situations is never easy and, as with all challenges in bringing up our children, there is no one-size-fits-all solutions.” Cindy suggests the following helpful tips if you have a child who no longer wants to go to school: 1. Don’t panic and let fear-filled emotions (such as anger and critical judgement) cloud your vision in finding positive, helpful solutions. Remember that all negative behavioural choices are based on some sort of fear. Make it your mission to find out what it is that your child is afraid of and then decide on how best to give your child the tools needed to face and overcome those fears. 2. Don’t allow staying at home to become a ‘fun’ alternative to going to school. Be firm in not allowing activities such as watching TV or playing computer games when a child stays home on a school day. There need to be consequences to not going to school-be it catching up on missed work, learning for the missed test or just being bored! Teach your children not to avoid their fears, but to face them and to find solutions that work for them. 3. Keep the lines of communication between yourself and your children and yourself and . . .