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Thursday, 25 April, 2002

Message from Mr André Gaum, Western Cape Education Minister

I am delighted to be able to congratulate Die Burger on this educationally very appropriate way of marking the historic moment when the first African ventures into space. To anyone from the Western Cape it is of course especially pleasing that Mark Shuttleworth is an inhabitant not just of our own country but of our own province!

Not many years ago Mr Shuttleworth was a schoolboy with no wealth or achievement to his name but with a bright, enquiring mind, an eager interest in the world he was growing up in, and a determination to make his mark in some way that would benefit others, especially the people of his own country. He has travelled far, in every sense, in the relatively short time since his schooldays. There is a lesson here for our present learners that hardly needs to be spelt out.

I warmly commend Die Burger for commemorating this momentous occasion with a supplement which will be of great use to our teachers and learners by establishing all sorts of connections between their work in the classroom and Mark Shuttleworth’s adventures in space.

Mr Shuttleworth deserves praise, too, for the readiness with which he has embraced the educational dimension of his journey. This exercise will encourage an interest in mathematics and science in the most dramatic way possible. We congratulate him for for his considerable achievements, and for providing such an excellent role model for other young people who wish to "reach for the skies".

I am sure I do no more than join the general voice when I wish him a rewarding time "out there", a safe return to earth, and many more remarkable achievements in his future career.

André Gaum
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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