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8ta backs maths revision

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8ta has partnered BHP Billitonand to bring EduC8, a nationwide mathematics and science revision campaign aimed at improving Grade 12 learners’ final year examination performance in these subjects.

Launched in July last year, EduC8 is a partnership with 8ta, BHP Billiton, Primestars, the Department of Basic Education, and Samsung. Targeted at learners from disadvantaged backgrounds across the country, its objective is to address any gaps that may exist in learners’ studying and learning Maths and Science so as to increase the number of those who excel in the subjects at the end of the academic year.

South Africa needs to make progress in its critical skills shortage strategy. The country has an acute shortage of professionals in Maths and Science-related fields such as actuarial science, engineering, medicine, and accounting. By helping learners perform better in these subjects, this will make them eligible for admission at tertiary institutions where they can also study these key professions. However, government cannot address this challenge alone. To do so effectively requires genuine and effective partnerships.

‚We all acknowledge that Maths and Science education is the foundation for many of the jobs needed to develop the country’s infrastructure and therefore our economy’s growth. Increasingly these subjects are a critical component of getting ahead and 8ta is proud to be part of this student initiative which sees government and the private sector working closely towards a common goal,‚ says Amith Maharaj, Senior Managing Executive of Telkom Mobile.

Launched only last year, EduC8 already has something to brag about. Last year’s participant, Zanele Khumalo (18) who attended the revision sessions at Maponya Mall in Soweto is on her way to Cuba on a scholarship to study medicine.

‚EduC8 helped me obtain the marks that I needed to be able to qualify for a scholarship and realise my dream of becoming a medical doctor. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity the programme has afforded me,‚ says the former learner at Letsibogo Girls High School.

‚If we are to transform this nation, pushing it to greater heights than ever before, giving all who live here equal opportunities to grow and succeed, we need to start at a grassroots level with skills development and education. We need to change the lives and experiences of the youth for the better. At BHP Billiton we believe in resourcing the future and part of resourcing the future lies in recognising that our people are our greatest resource. We are nothing without talented, skilled employees. The children empowered by the EduC8 Matric Revision will be those talented, skilled employees, given the opportunity. We need to recognise that the future begins with the children of South Africa, and that that future begins now,‚ says BHP Billiton Chairman, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi.

How EduC8 works is that each revision session will be filmed from a single venue and simultaneously broadcast to a network of 15 digitised Ster-Kinekor theatres across the country. The revision sessions will run every Sunday from 22 July to 23 September 2012. These will be presented in an educational and yet entertaining manner allowing learners to interact with subject experts who will be available at each cinema complex to assist with questions and answers from the pupils.

This year, EduC8 will reach three additional areas ‚ Witbank, Richards Bay, and Kuruman ‚ as part of the project’s commitment to being as widely accessible as possible, and giving equal opportunities to all disadvantaged learners. Special allowance will once again be made for learners who will not be able to attend the revision sessions due to their geographical locations. Information will be available online and can be accessed from http://edusynergy.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=128&Itemid=446.

‚Ntutule Tshenye, Corporate Citizenship, Samsung Africa Regional Headquarters says the objectives of EduC8 are in line with what the company is trying to achieve through the Samsung Blue Education program. ‚At Samsung, part of our commitment is towards developing young skilled leaders in Africa. One of our goals is to develop 10 000 Electronic Engineers across Africa by 2015 and a strong Maths and Science foundation is critical for students who want to succeed in the engineering field, as well as other related careers.‚

The Sasol Inzalo Foundation (SaIF) and the national bursary organisation Studietrust will again in 2012 cooperate with the EduC8 initiative of Primestars by reserving at least 5 full-cost bursaries for qualifying applicants who attended the EduC8 Matric Revision programme. The vision of the Sasol Inzalo Foundation is to be a significant contributor to sustainable economic growth in South Africa by focusing on skills development in engineering and science, through various programmes, including a bursary programme that started in 2010. The main criteria for the selection of applicants are academic potential and financial need. Each EduC8 workbook made available to participants in the Matric Revision Programme contains a SaIF Bursary Programme application form with information on selection criteria and the application procedure. The closing date for 2013 applications is 30 September.

Martin Sweet, Managing Director of Primestars Marketing adds, ‚As a consequence of the highly successful implementation of the EduC8 Initiative in 2011, we are excited and fully prepared for a bumper 2012 Matric Revision Programme which will assist the youth of this country to excel in their individual performances, setting themselves up to be fully prepared for university and subsequently, play a meaningful role in society in the years ahead. We wish every learner all the best to exceed their own expectations. Long live 8ta, BHP Billiton, Samsung, Sasol Inzalo Foundation and Snackworks for their friendship, commitment and support of this vitally important revision programme. Dreams do come true.‚

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