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Making maths and science available in Mpumalanga


Bayer in South Africa has joined forces with Penreach to take Maths and Science closer to a number of schools in Mpumalanga through the sponsorship of a mobile maths and science laboratory.
The life sciences company has made funds available to Penreach in an effort to support their continued outreach programmes to previously disadvantaged schools in the Mpumalanga that target both students and teachers.
The primary purpose of the mobile unit, which will now be known as the Penreach Baylab, is to continue to provide science and maths learners at historically disadvantaged, rural schools with an opportunity to perform science laboratory activities with advanced equipment, technology and methods not usually available to them.
“As a life sciences company, Bayer recognises the significance that science and math can have in children’s formative years and is committed to encouraging the development of the scientists of tomorrow,” says Dr Klaus Eckstein, CEO of Bayer in Southern Africa.
“We believe that we have a role to play in helping to tackle the skill and education challenges facing South Africa, and the areas of maths and science are critical components of this. With this in mind, we will be exploring the possibilities of making the Penreach Baylab accessible to even more children and teachers in South Africa.”
The mobile lab focuses on:
* Assisting teachers to improve teaching methods in physical science, natural sciences and mathematics;
* Closing the knowledge gap between primary education and secondary education;
* Improving learners’ study methods and techniques of exam writing;
* Helping teachers to do practical experiments with their learners;
* Promoting science through science shows and basic computer skills training; and
* Exposing learners to different explanation of difficult concepts in maths and science.
Says Penreach CEO, Andile Ncontsa: “Improving educational quality in schools and specifically improving learning outcomes in the science fields stands out as the greatest challenge of the democratic South Africa.
“Without a substantial improvement in learning outcomes, the future development needs of the country will be seriously compromised.
“Our model is based on three core areas of expertise, early childhood development, teacher development and learner support as well as management and leadership development – and we are pleased to join forces with Bayer to continue to drive the success and sustainability of the mobile lab.”
The mobile labs will be used by:
* Five Penreach target primary schools with 2 000 learners and 50 teachers in natural science, technology, English and maths;
* Three Penreach target secondary schools with 1500 learners and 75 teachers in natural science, technology, English and maths; and
* Four early childhood development centres with 400 learners between the ages of three and 5 years and 15 teachers directly with basic natural science and numeracy concepts.