26 March 2019

South Africa: A New Breed of Schools Opens the Doors of Science and Technology for Township Pupils

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In 2016, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi opened the Curtis Nkondo School of Specialisation. It is one of six specialisation schools opened by the Gauteng Department of Education. Daily Maverick visited the school over two days to see how a speciality school operates.

It's Thursday morning and maths teacher Allen Selota is delivering what seems to be an ordinary mathematics lesson. He presents the lesson to a chattering and excited Grade 9 class. Gone is the dusty chalkboard, in its place a smartboard. The learners use foldable laptops, which they refer to as tablets. There are a few textbooks scattered on some of the learners' tables, but these are not being engaged with as much as the tablets.

Situated in a township called Emndeni, south of Soweto, the Curtis Nkondo School of Specialisation secondary school is named after Struggle icon Curtis Nkondo. Learners can specialise in Engineering Graphics and Design (EGD), IT, and mechanical, civil, or electrical engineering.

"One of the requirements is that our learners must not only learn pure content. In addition to content, they must have projects that are related to subjects they are doing," says school principal Lindiwe Ndzala.

Steve Mabona, spokesperson for the Gauteng Department...

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