Durban, 12 May 2017, South Africa spends 6.3% of its GDP on education, (compared to South Korea which spends 4.6%), however, 27% of pupils who have attended school in South Africa for six years cannot read, compared with 4% in Tanzania and 19% in Zimbabwe. (The Economist, January 2017).
“South Africa needs to set new benchmarks for success in order to meet this educational urgency,” said Chevron South Africa chairman, Shashi Rabbipal, at the opening of a new Chevron-funded facility for the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME) in Durban today.
Chevron is set to invest R3.6 million into the CASME initiative to address the educational challenges facing the communities surrounding its Lubricant Manufacturing Plant (LMP) based on the South Basin of the Port of Durban. This funding is supported by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, Umlazi District and it has been used to expand the Lamontville Education Centre to include a Science Resource Centre.
The beneficiary communities of the investment include Bluff, Wentworth, Merebank, Isipingo, Montclair, Glenwood, Umlazi, Lamontville and Chesterville. These are the communities from which Chevron draws its employees, and where the company has its local roots.
“The private sector has a pivotal role to play in implementing workable solutions in education in South Africa. By far the best solution involves seeking and nurturing high value partnerships with other stakeholders in education.
“We need to look at the demands of a modern economy on the one hand and the enormous projected growth in number of learners, especially at high school level. In 2025 there will be 21.3 million secondary learners in South Africa (The Global Rise in Education) and these learners will need clear pathways into science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers.
“Therefore, as a leader in an industry with a strong science and technology orientation, it is critical for Chevron South Africa to invest in education in the communities from which it sources its workforce and to complement its massive investments into infrastructure, resources and other areas of the economy,” Rabbipal said.
“We are addressing learners who stand to benefit through a tuition programme for Grades 10 to 12. 300 learners from five schools started their Saturday classes in the early part of the year, with tutors offering expert guidance in mathematics, science and English.
Rabbipal added that the country’s National Development Plan has set a number of ambitious targets for mathematics and science learner achievement by 2030, including the creation of 30 000 artisans a year.
“These targets are critical if the country is to meet its goals of alleviating poverty, inequality and unemployment. But government alone cannot solve the crisis in mathematics and science education in South Africa, it requires the collective effort of all stakeholders,” added Rabbipal.
He concluded that teachers are at the core of quality and innovative teaching and learning, and so at the heart of the programme is ongoing support for local teachers through training and mentorship from the CASME team of seasoned facilitators.
Their programme is three-pronged tackling the issue of resources for teaching, support for teachers and creating opportunities for learners.
About Chevron South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Chevron South Africa is an affiliate of Chevron Corporation, the world’s second largest integrated energy company, which markets its products in South Africa under the Caltex Brand - one of the country’s top petroleum brands, with around 850 service stations nationwide. It also has Lubricants blending and base oil storage capability and markets Caltex Havoline and Caltex Delo to consumers across the country.
Chevron South Africa operates a crude oil refinery in Cape Town with a production capacity of 100,000 barrels a day. The refinery produces petrol, diesel, jet fuel, LPG, bitumen gas and other speciality products for South Africa and for export to other African countries. The Lubricants Manufacturing Plant in Durban together with its premium base oil hub has world class manufacturing, storage infrastructure and capability therefore allowing it to be poised as a key contributor to growth in South Africa.
Chevron South Africa is a major contributor to the country’s economic growth and has implemented wide-reaching social investment programmes in health, education and economic development.
Issued by FTI Consulting:
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