By Baraka Jefwa
DuPont, a science company, has announced its collaboration with Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, to extend the Sci-Bono Blended Learning STEM Tutoring Project to an additional 150 learners in the Gauteng province of South Africa.
The project consists of daily afternoon supplementary tuition in Mathematics, Physical Science, Life Science and Accounting for Grade 12 learners in and around the Johannesburg area, from previously disadvantaged communities.
“Sci-Bono has had much success in setting up and running these tuition programs in similar communities,” said David Kramer, the CEO at Sci-Bono. “Between 2012 and 2014, the program has helped learners improve their marks, in some cases from about between 30 per cent and 40 per cent to over 70 per cent. We have seen that education becomes a catalyst that can break the cycle of poverty that so many of these learners find themselves in”.
According to World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report 2014 – 2015, South Africa currently ranks last out of 144 countries across the world for the quality of Science and Mathematics education.
This creates a much greater problem for the country as South Africa now greatly lacks scientists and engineers.
The WEF Report includes a metric for the availability of scientists and engineers, and it ranked South Africa at 102 out of 144 countries worldwide.
The Global STEM Paradox, a report issued by The New York Academy of Sciences, reiterated the need, stating that Sub-Saharan Africa needs 2.5 million more engineers to “address the continent’s gravest development problems”.
“As a science company, DuPont is dedicated to advancing science and science education on the African continent,” said Bjoern Meth, Country Leader for DuPont South Africa.
“We proudly sponsored Horizons on Bloomberg TV Africa, the first television series to focus on science and innovation on the African continent. Now through The DuPont Community Fund, we are happy to commence this partnership with Sci-Bono to expand this much needed project and help inspire our country’s future scientists and engineers. Only through improved STEM education will South Africa be able to increase employment, development and competitiveness”.