DUPONT STRENGTHENS COMMITMENT TO STEM EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA
DuPont and Sci-Bono Collaborate to Expand After-School STEM Tutoring Project for Grade 12 Learners.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - DuPont, a science company that brings world-class, innovative products, materials and services to the global marketplace, today announced a collaboration with the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, South Africa’s largest science centre and official partner to the Gauteng Department of Education, 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% and 40% to over 70%. 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”.
About the DuPont Community Fund
The DuPont Community Fund was established in 1990 to improve the quality of life and enhance the vitality of communities in which we operate. This grassroots program, designed and implemented at DuPont sites, has supported programs and organizations that address one or more of three key components of community sustainability – social progress, economic success and environmental excellence.
DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.co.za, follow @DuPontAfrica on Twitter or download the DuPont EMEA News app for iOS and Android.
Sci-Bono is South Africa’s largest science centre and aims to improve teaching and learning in STEM subjects across Gauteng province. Sci-Bono is a world-class science centre that supports maths, science and technology education and offers innovative, dynamic learning experiences that contribute to building South Africa’s science, engineering and technology capacity. Sci-Bono has been set up by, and works in close collaboration with, the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE). Together with the GDE, Sci-Bono has identified areas of weakness that require support and intervention. These range from STEM programmes for students, career education programmes, outreach programmes at the schools, ICT programmes and teacher development programmes.
MADALEEN VAN DER WALT