The six recipients of the Thales inaugural Bursary Awards were recently announced at an event at the FNB Portside Building in Cape Town. As part of the award, each student received R20000 and a laptop computer to assist with their studies. MEC of Social Development Albert Fritz and Councillor Xanthea Limberg, Mayoral Committee Member for Corporate Services presented these to each recipient.
The Community Chest has partnered with Thales South Africa Systems in a five-year education project with a specific focus on maths, science, literacy and technology – entitled “Fast-tracking Pathways to Success” – to benefit more than 6000 learners in schools in the Western Cape.
The educational project, launched at the Centre for Science and Technology in Khayelitsha in 2014, involves six secondary schools in the metro east region.
“I am thrilled to be able to present these awards to such deserving students, to congratulate them on all their efforts and wish them well for the future,” said Cllr. Limberg.
MEC Fritz said “It was really a very inspiring event. It gave me a lot of hope excellence can be achieved by our youth.”
The successful students are; Cameron Corne Adams (19), graduated from Forest Heights High, is currently doing a mathematics and physics bridging course at Cape Peninsula University of
Technology, with a goal to study biotechnology next year;
Malibu Secondary School graduate Fadwah Isaacs (19), is currently studying towards a bachelor degree in medicine and surgery (MBChB) at the University of Stellenbosch;
Ncebakazi Maranga (19), attended Sizimisele Technical High School and is currently studying civil engineering at Cape Peninsula University of Technology;
Siphumle Matkinca (19), attended Joe Slovo Comprehensive High School and will be studying biotechnology in 2016;
Voizah Maxeen Steenberg (18), attended Klein Vlei Secondary School, now plans to do a degree in medical laboratory sciences at Cape Peninsula University of Technology;
Khanyolwethu Secondary School graduate Zukisa Dyanti (18), is studying Computer Science at the University of the Western Cape.
Merle Mills, Project Manager of the Thales education project for the Community Chest, said the aim was to build the capacity of schools to improve their performance, specifically in maths and basic science subjects. The project also looked at improving the school systems through a turn- around strategy to move the schools from being under performing, to becoming schools of excellence.
“These six achievers are proof of the effectiveness of the project,” said Ms Mills.
Thales South Africa Systems is the local arm of the Thales Group, a global technology leader in the aerospace, transportation, defence, and security markets. Two years ago it was awarded a contract to upgrade the railway signalling system within the Western Cape.
After rigorous research on how to make the most sustainable and effective investment in the community, Thales selected the Community Chest to implement the CSI element of its contract.
The Community Chest prioritises education as one of its four intervention strategies for empowering communities. This is done partly through advocating quality early childhood development (ECD), primary, secondary, and tertiary education, and largely through strategic partnerships with the private sector, such as with Thales.
Community Chest Chief Executive Officer Lorenzo Davids said that the project addressed the key values of the Community Chest’s education strategy and integrated approach to development.
“This project offers practical solutions, with the potential to activate not only the school communities involved, but others who interact with it,” said Mr Davids. “It allows learners to believe in their potential to attain careers in maths, science, and technology.”