The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will on Tuesday join the rest of South Africa and the world in marking Nelson Mandela Day in honour of former President Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela International Day commemorates the icon's lifetime of service, and has been held annually since 2009 following a unanimous decision by the UN General Assembly.
Mandela Day calls on all citizens to spend 18 July, Mandela's birthday, to make the world a better place.
This year, the DST and its entities will focus their programme on improving teaching and learning at underprivileged schools.
This will include painting classrooms at Khulubone Primary in Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal, and Diepsloot Combined School, north of Johannesburg, as well as presenting learning materials and uniforms to the schools.
Improving the teaching and learning of mathematics and science is crucial in nurturing the next generation of knowledge workers.
The learning materials that the DST will be donate include computers, tablets, printers and science laboratory equipment.
The Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi and the Director-General, Dr Phil Mjwara, will lead the programme at Khulubone Primary in Mtubatuba on 18 July.
Khulubone Primary School is a public school with 400 learners and only nine classrooms, one of which is being used as a maths and science computer laboratory.
In 2016, the department handed over mobile computer laboratories in the area supporting 29 rural schools in the uMkhanyakude District as part of a computer-based learning pilot project.
On 20 July, Minister Naledi Pandor will conclude the DST activities with the refurbishment of dilapidated classrooms at Diepsloot Combined School in Johannesburg.
The school has become an icon of hope for the disadvantaged community of Diepsloot and managed to obtain an 84% pass rate last year. It has over 1 800 learners.