PRESS OFFICE: ArcelorMittal
The ArcelorMittal South Africa Science Centre in Sebokeng today celebrated 10 years of excellence in education at an event attended by dignitaries from the Gauteng Department of Basic Education, the Sedibeng community and learners from Sebokeng, as well as executives from ArcelorMittal South Africa.
Established in 2006, the Sebokeng Science Centre, close to its operations in Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark, was started as a pilot project by ArcelorMittal South Africa in partnership with the Department of Basic Education in the Sedibeng West District.
ArcelorMittal South African CEO Wim de Klerk said: “There is a shortage of technical skills in the country and for ArcelorMittal South Africa to remain competitive; we have to nurture our own talent.
“The Science Centre is the incubator where these skills are enthusiastically and lovingly developed. We have a significant number of employees who have graduated from the Science Centre, successfully completed their tertiary education, are now working for the company and will likely be fast-tracked through development programmes so that they can become the future leaders of ArcelorMittal.”
“I am proud that after 10 years, even the ArcelorMittal bursary office cannot cope with the numbers of candidates produced here. We do have a good story to tell. “As the country’s largest steel producer, we have a responsibility to contribute to the development of our communities and the nation as a whole,” De Klerk said.
Speaking on behalf of Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, Dr More Chakane, the Chief Executive of the Matthew Goniwe School of Leadership, it was important for ArcelorMittal South Africa to partner with government.
The Gauteng Provincial Government has embraced technology and innovation by moving towards paperless classrooms. Initially our move was met with derision, cynicism and even legal challenges. One thing for sure is that we are resolute in bridging the digital divide to address the triple challenges of joblessness, poverty and inequality.
When e-learning was introduced in Gauteng schools, MEC Lesu said: “We cannot run away from the fact that we must change from the ways that our teachers were using chalkboards because we are living in a technological era where everybody is using ICT at home, at school and everywhere.”
He said when the department introduced tablets to schools as a project o improve the quality of education, many skeptics criticised them. However, the challenge we are encountering now is theft and break-ins at schools.
“We have to embrace technology and innovation whether we like it or not. There’s virtual learning. It cannot be that a child taught in the 21st century under the ANC government is taught in the same way a child who attended school during the stone age of apartheid. It can’t be right. It will not be right. We have entered the decade of millennials and cannot reverse it.
We are open to partnerships with the private sector and ArcelorMittal South Africa is doing some fantastic work through the Science Centres with the objective of strengthening the teaching of science and mathematics here in Vanderbijlpark and Saldanha in the Western Cape,” Dr Chakane added.
Sebokeng Science Centre alumni, Andile Nakho thanked ArcelorMittal South Africa for playing a part in his career. He is now employed as an engineer at company is studying towards a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering.
Corporate Communications Manager
016 889 2425/083 468 1415
ArcelorMittal South Africa