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Thursday, 25 April, 2002

WCED wishes Shuttleworth Godspeed

Statement by André Gaum, Western Cape Education Minister, on Mark Shuttleworth's flight into space. Mr Gaum and members of the Western Cape Cabinet watched the blast-off during a bosberaad in Arniston

The launch was a heart-stopping moment for all us. Here was one of our own, a South African from the Western Cape, blasting off into space. We wish him Godspeed on this trip.

We are particularly grateful to him for dedicating this flight to education. This courageous venture will stimulate considerable interest in maths and science in our schools.

We will honour this commitment by presenting Mr Shuttleworth with an award on his return to Cape Town.

I sent the following letter to Mr Shuttleworth before the blast-off:

Dear Mr Shuttleworth

On behalf of the Western Cape Education Department and the teachers and learners of the province, I wish you a safe and successful journey into space. We will follow your historic trip and activities over the next few days with keen interest.

The Department and I also wish to thank you for your contribution to the teaching and learning of mathematics and science. We agree with you that exposure to these two subjects will benefit all children, whatever it is they might wish to do with their lives.

Your trip is demonstrating that it is possible to "reach for the skies". Your Hip2b2 campaign is drawing attention to the crucial role that mathematics and science play in fulfilling this dream.

Your vision will inspire many other learners from this province, country and continent to reach out for a better future, and to ensure that they have the education necessary to make this possible.

We wish you Godspeed for this exciting journey.

Western Cape Education Minister

Issued by:
The Communications Directorate
Western Cape Education Department
Private Bag X9114
Cape Town 8000
Tel: (021) 467-2531
Fax: (021) 467-2363
Email: pattwell@pawc.wcape.gov.za
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