Science Teaching and Learning Centres open across the Province
28 July 2022
New Science Teaching and Learning Centres opened at several Western Cape schools to make science education a more hands-on experience for learners.
The centres were made possible through a partnership between Advancing Knowledge Non-Profit Company (AK NPC), the Archway Foundation and the Western Cape Education Department.
AK NPC is an outreach, support, training and research organisation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) STEM Education.
Prof Shaheed Hartley, Head of AK NPC, said the construction of STEM TLCs at schools in disadvantaged communities provides the teachers and learners with a creative space in which the teaching and learning of science and mathematics can be harnessed. He expressed the hope that schools will establish science clubs and encourage more girls to get involved in science.
Norma Road Primary School Principal, Ronald Campher, said the school community was very grateful to have a brand-new science laboratory. “The Science teachers and learners are very excited. The experiences will enhance learner understanding of specific scientific facts and concepts and the way in which these facts and concepts are organized in the scientific disciplines.”
He added that the equipment will allow learners to perform experiments rather than just read about them. “Instead of taking monotonous notes, they can observe and complete exciting experiments. Such hands-on learning often makes it easier to understand challenging theories and concepts.
“Research has shown that who engage in well-designed laboratory experiences develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, as well as gain exposure to reactions, materials, and equipment in a lab setting.”
Sokhayno Primary School Principal, Enoch Mthalane, said the new science centre presents an opportunity to understand, research and predict all scientific information.
Greg Gordon, Principal of Westbank No 1 Primary School, expressed his gratitude to Hartley, the Archway Foundation and the WCED for providing the funding for the centres. “Hopefully in a few years our learners will graduate as scientists in different fields having started their journey at Wesbank No 1 Primary.”
TLC Centres were also opened at, De Heide Primary School, Emil Weder Secondary School, De Rust Futura Academy and Groenberg Secondary School.
Adam Jantjies of the WCED’s Directorate: Physical Resources Planning and Property Management said it was vital for learners to have access to these state-of-the-art facilities to increase the number of learners who enrol for Sciences in the FET Phase (Grade 10 – 12). “It is also important that we provide training for science teachers to build their ability to teach science effectively. Schools will continuously be supported.”